Sun decided to balk at IBM's reduced offer for the company on Saturday, and today IBM walked away.
A Sun source told The New York Times "it would no longer abide by its exclusive negotiating agreement with IBM."
You remember Ramirez, the perpetually-disgruntled slugger on the downside of his career who engineered a trade out of Boston to the Dodgers last year?
A few months ago agent Scott Boras walked away from an LA offer of $25 million with an option for $20 million in 2010.
That's the situation McNealy and Sun find themselves in this morning, only worse. Because IBM in this case isn't the Dodgers, it's the Yankees.
Sun can make all the noises it wants about Cisco or HP, but that sounds a lot like Boras pretending the Giants were going to sign Manny. Or the Tampa Bay Rays. (Or my Atlanta Braves, or some Japanese team.) It wasn't happening.
Those other deals aren't happening for Sun, either.
Back when this started I predicted the final price would be "well south" of the initial bid, as in lower. IBM's due diligence apparently found contracts with "change of control" bonuses on an AIG scale, and it was right to lower its price accordingly.
What happens next is that IBM offers a lower price, there are machinations to make it appear that it's not a lower price (some of the money is deferred) and Sun accepts the offer.
Or it could go bankrupt.