Sun Microsystems will fork out $1 billion to acquire open-source database company MySQL. The bold deal is expected to close later this year, but Sun will begin offering support services to customers of MySQL before that time.
MySQL's revenue over the past year is estimated to be in the $60-$70 million range.
MySQL, founded in 1995, is one of the most successful open-source companies. It's part of the popular combination of open-source development products referred to as LAMP, for Linux Apache Web server, MySQL and the PHP development language, which is broadly used on the Internet and within companies.
MySQL CEO Marten Mickos will join Sun's senior executive team after the transaction closes.
Sun CEO and president Jonathan Schwartz call the deal the most important acquisition in the history of the company. He says, "This is really about one thing: reaffirming Sun's position at the center of the Web, the platform for the Web economy."
Sun intends to sell its hardware and additional software to the 75 percent of MySQL's customers who run on non-Sun hardware.
There is concern in some quarters on potential issues that might arise with competing database products, such as Oracle and PostgreSQL. Sun has traditionally enjoyed close ties to Oracle, and it has invested in PostgreSQL. Company executives say they will continue to support PostgreSQL and continue to partner with database giant Oracle.
Do you use MySQL in your company? Does MySQL's impending acquisition by Sun affect any of your strategic plans?
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.