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IBM acquires Sterling Commerce from AT&T

The $1.4bn deal will move Sterling Commerce and its employees into the IBM WebSphere middleware unit, according to a statement

IBM on Monday acquired Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4bn, and will assimilate its 2,500 employees in with its WebSphere middleware unit.

The $1.4bn (£98m) move means that Sterling Commerce has another home inside of a large company. Sterling Commerce, which provides business-to-business supply chain, integration and fulfillment software, was acquired by SBC Communications in 2000 for $3.9bn. SBC later acquired AT&T in 2005 and took its name. As a unit in AT&T, Sterling continued to make selective acquisitions to round out its e-business portfolio.

According to a statement, IBM will use Sterling Commerce's business to create more supplier automation tools for customers via on-premise applications or cloud computing. IBM chief Sam Palmisano said two weeks ago that the company would spend about $20bn on acquisitions through 2015.

For more on this story, see IBM buys Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4 billion on ZDNet.com.