by Michael Goldberg

IBM, Oracle, Microsoft & Sun: A (Fake) Merger for the Ages

Apr 01, 20032 mins
Mergers and Acquisitions

The heads of four of the world’s top technology vendors, citing the need for “a simpler, cheaper IT” for CIOs everywhere, announced that they would merge effective April 1. The new company, comprising IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, would be worth nearly $450 billion. It would be the biggest business deal ever and would need to win both regulator and shareholder approval.

The four chairmen?(clockwise from top left) IBM’s Samuel J. Palmisano, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Sun Microsystems’ Scott McNealy?said at a joint press conference in Paris that meeting CIOs’ call for simpler licensing fees, uniform and open technology standards for hardware and software, and superior customer service made the merger a must.

“We have to do this for the good of technology customers everywhere,” said Gates, standing in the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum. “It’s finally time to bury the hatchet. Besides, I love Java?.Net, dot-shmet.”

The new entity will be called Mona Lisa, Ellison said, “because this will be a work of art. Way better than that AOL Time Warner thing.”

The executives said that instead of one CEO, they would put their egos in a blind trust and share the helm. “We’re thinking of ourselves as the Gang of Four,” Palmisano said.

Mona Lisa was most preferable, McNealy said. “We used one of those anagram engines on the Web, but the best we could come up with was ’Mom Stirs on a Crucible of Microsystems.’ That sounds too much like an April Fool’s joke, don’t you think?”