IBM to buy Informix database business

Informix Corp. has inked a deal with IBM Corp. to sell its database business to IBM for US$1 billion dollars in cash. Informix has been struggling for several years in the database market, which is dominated by Oracle Corp. and where IBM remains a strong contender with its line of DB2 products for mainframe, Unix and Windows NT servers. For IBM, the move will eliminate a rival in the market for Unix and Windows NT/2000 databases. IBM officials said recently that the acquisition will double the size of IBM’s database business. IBM may also be able to use some of the well-regarded Informix database technology for managing non-relational data, although DB2 has had somewhat similar capabilities for several years. During a teleconference, IBM officials described the competition with Oracle as a “war.”