"An acquisition of Sun would give IBM nearly two-thirds of the
worldwide Unix server market, according to research firm IDC. IBM
sold $6.4 billion worth of Unix servers last year, for a 37.2%
market share, while Sun's sales amounted to $4.8 billion, for a
28.1% share, IDC said. Trailing behind in third place was
Hewlett-Packard Co., with $4.6 billion in sales and a 26.5% market
share; after HP, the rest of the vendors counted by IDC had
single-digit shares at best.
"Unix systems, which IDC said accounted for 36% of overall
server market revenue in last year's fourth quarter, continue to
see their share of data center processing be eroded by Windows and
Linux servers. But many businesses and government agencies still
rely on Unix machines to run some of their most critical
applications and databases.
"IBM owns the mainframe market, and the prospect of it gaining a
substantial piece of the Unix business - and in particular, the
high end of that market - via an acquisition of Sun is worrisome to
Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer & Communications
Industry Association in Washington."