back to article Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

IBM intends to acquire enterprise Linux maker Red Hat for $34bn (£27bn). Following rumors of a deal over the weekend, Big Blue announced the move here, in the past hour, and Red Hat's take is here. IBM made an offer of $190 per issued and outstanding Red Hat share, which was accepted: the current price stands at $116. …


  1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    So long and farewell RedHat

    I remember similar things being said about Lotus, when all it turned out they really wanted was the replication technology from Notes to shove into DB2. Everything else was allowed to wither on the vine.

    Same will happen here - destroy the corporate culture, ruin the business so they can get - what, exactly?

    PS: could we have a grim reaper icon? I mean, it is nearly Halloween after all...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So long and farewell RedHat

      Not exactly accurate. Big Blue promoted the sh*t out of Notes, required all its partners to use Notes to do business with IBM divisions, and generally caused the software to live on a decade longer than it should have. The big differences are that RHEL and associated products are open source and their devs at the center of the Linux universe. Lotus was an innovative company, but not an industry leader, and its tech was the classic walled garden. It had nothing like the influence RHAT does through its employees involvement in the oss stack.

      That said, bean counters and egomaniacal execs being what they are, if the RHATters don't wind up taking over IBM a la TW/AOL in a very short time then this could be a very sad end to a good company. What was it that Feynman said? "Nature cannot be fooled."

      Competence cannot be faked.

      At least not for very long.

  2. cloth

    And no mention of JBoss?

    Funny how everyone is talking about the OS - what about the middleware stack !? Is that so small that it's insignificant ?

    Regardless: I can see it being killed off - it's a direct competitor to the IBM stack.

    1. HighTension

      Re: And no mention of JBoss?

      Perfectly forkable, However RH do produce the only vaguely reliable version of GlusterFS (I've tried the community version more than enough times, thanks very much!).

  3. adam payne

    So RedHat comes BlueHat.

    How long before BlueHat circles the toilet bowl like IBM?

    1. ROC


      Shouldn't that be Red BM?

  4. Oneman2Many

    Very little to do with Linux

    This has very little to do with Linux. IBM has realised there is enough of a market for on-prem and hybrid cloud and their current range just doesn't cut it. MS have delayed (again) with on prem azure and OpenShift is the most mature product out there and they have windows in a container support coming soon.

    Of course the real question is how badly with they f**k it up or if they will leave Redhat to continue developing their products instead of trying to do some half arsed integration.

    Plus of course getting rid of dinosaur IT and injecting fresh blood who don't have huge pension commitments will help.

  5. Bill Gates

    Congrats Red Hat, you are marrying massive debts

    Congrats Red Hat. You are marrying a girl with 80B in debt that will be more than 3x leveraged soon and will have their credit rating downgraded to a BB or less after this and that means creditors will start charging substantially more interest on that 80B in debt you just married.

    Hope you like beans and toast because you will never see steaks again, and don’t ever plan on taking any vacations for the rest of your life. Those days are over.

    Likely this will just end up killing both of the companies in a massive debt spiral in pretty quick time but, have fun you newlyweds.

    1. Phil Endecott

      Re: Congrats Red Hat, you are marrying massive debts

      So like Maplin then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Congrats Red Hat, you are marrying massive debts

        "So like Maplin then?"

        Sort of. Maplin would be missed

  6. Yordan Georgiev

    About 10 years too late ...

    And too litle as well ...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The search for a more.modern tech base?

    "Oh, WebSphere and DB2 are still a thing," I recently blurted out in an interview for a job I didn't get. Fact is that IBM are sitting on a bunch of legacy tech that makes your average forward looking engineer run a mile. Customers also tend to be looking for something a little more modern. Perhaps the Red Hat buy out is best viewed through the prism of that thinking?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM needs to be very careful with the Red-hatters during the blue-washing process else they will lose them. Good luck to the Red-hatters with the IBM TEA system and having to pay high prices for coffee. I can foresee a huge culture shock coming and IBM must reconsider their standard integration process else this will be a flop.

  9. Munchausen's proxy

    I can see it now:


    Good luck.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and the support goes bad already...

    Someone (RH staff, or one of the Gods) is unhappy with the deal: Red Hat's support site has been down all day.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the most surprising things is just how big IBM still are! I so rarely come across them I consider them fairly irrelevant these days, yet they're still pretty massive! I don't even know what they really do any more (I used to work for them). This is a ballsy move but as many people have mentioned, 2 companies from very different worlds!

    1. Oneman2Many

      They still pretty much run the finance industry, are still huge in manufacturing and anything involving reliable batch processing.

  12. christie23356


    Hi) how often you drink a coffee?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is smart for a few reasons - A) access to a whole new base of customers IBM may not have had access to. Can sell their watson, blockchain, etc new emerging products. B) can leverage red hat tech for free, especially in their BlueMix cloud offerings like Ansible, etc. Middleware.I agree, 34 billion for 2-3 billion revenue is...head scratching. But per above, there are some huge discrete benefits.

    As for the culture and what will happen to Red Hat... oh boy. lets get the popcorn out.

    1. Uncle Ron

      "can leverage red hat tech for free..."

      Nothing is free. Not now, not ever. If IBM is true to form, transfer prices for support, services, subscription fees and all the rest between Red Hat and IBM will be at the same prices they were before this outrage. IBM doesn't fuck anybody more than it does internally. Between departments, divisions--with a healthy uplift going to the "procurement" department for it's "services."

      The way IBM does "costing" and "pricing" is totally fucking outrageous. One internal uplift after another, plus an adder in case our forecast is wrong, and nothing ever succeeds. Once these internal processes infect the Red Hat operation (not to mention travel rules, no raises for years, no project money, no budgets for any departmental purposes, and consolidation of all advertising and promotion to Armonk, and Red Hat will be road kill--a stain on the highway.

  14. Tim99 Silver badge

    A question

    Does this mean more, or less of Poettering‘s spawn?

  15. christie23356
  16. christie23356

    Hi everyone

  17. Stevie


    IBM spent 34 000 000 000 dollars for Red Hat Linux?

    I downloaded it for free.

  18. IGnatius T Foobar !

    And here comes Richard Stallman...

    ...who will now insist that the entire company must now be called "GNU/IBM".

  19. real_alias

    I've not been this confused by a tech acquisition since My Little Pony spent $1B on MySQL.

  20. Jay Lenovo

    Hoping for the best

    I'm adding Red Hat employees to next Sunday's prayer list.

    Something is making them feel blue.

  21. CPU

    This can only end badly for Redhat.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm goin in //// to cloud city ////

    rich man poor man beggar man thief

    ain't gotta hope in hell

    that's my belief

  23. Reginald Onway

    Sudo this, sudo that...

    I've tried to make Linux my everyday OS a few times but it always becomes a dead end deal, with the vague fix seeming to be...reinstall everything. Hmmmmm.

    Anyway, I understand Red Hat creates FREE software, but charges money to make it work for you. A service. Devious if you think about it. And from my experience likely to generate quite a bit of profit.

    I hope it works out for everyone concerned.

    I think that will depend on how Linux works.

    1. ibmalone

      Re: Sudo this, sudo that...

      I've tried to make Linux my everyday OS a few times but it always becomes a dead end deal, with the vague fix seeming to be...reinstall everything. Hmmmmm.

      Well, they have been trying to emulate more popular desktop OSes... they'll probably have succeeded when you need to reboot three times to install a sequence of updates and then make random updates to the registry before reinstalling everything anyway.

      There was a time when the only changes that required a reboot to apply were non-module kernel changes and possibly libc.

      As for the title, much easier to just run as admin all the time, amirite!?

  24. JLV

    Go, Ginni, go!

    Y’all know that executing big deals and hitting little* targets on them is a great way to get big bonuses, right?

    Certainly easier than fixing IBM organically. Moves the goalposts, fuzzes the fails.

    Cynic, moi?

    * - not as in “hard”

    1. Reginald Onway

      Re: Go, Ginni, go!

      She does seem to manage IBM for financial appearance rather than substantive product. Then one day she may simply say, 'I quit', and walk off stage with a few hundred million bucks. Nice work if you can get it. The best part is no accountability for failure. That's America these days.

  25. devTrail

    Vendor lock-in vs open source

    A company prone to vendor lock-in buying one of the biggest open source companies on the market. What's worse is that in some niches there are few alternatives. This is really what antitrust authorities should look into, but I suspect that they will simply gloss over these issues.

  26. panoptiq

    I guess this means HP is screwed in the "Hybrid-Cloud" space. What was HELION anyway?

    1. Oneman2Many

      Helion has fortunately seemed to have died a quiet death, they aren't pushing it down our throats anymore.

  27. Mikko

    Better than Oracle buying Red Hat. Much, much better.

  28. rmstock

    Pwnie for Lamest Vendor Takeover

    The 2018 Pwnie Award for Lamest Vendor Takeover goes to ..... IBM. But remember, the true power is with the source and keep the source not exclusively at github and the cloud, but also on local storage. Don't allow BS to destroy good working software.

  29. Edwin Tumblebunny

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - Red Hat is dead.

    Red Hat will be a distant memory in a few years as it gets absorbed by the abhorrent IBM culture and its bones picked clean by the IBM beancounters. Nothing good ever happens to a company bought by IBM.

    I worked as a contractor for IBM's IGS division in the late '90s and early 2000s at their third biggest customer, and even then, IBM was doing their best to demoralize their staff (and contractors) and annoy their customers as much as possible!

    Some examples:

    The on-site IBM employees (and contractors) had to use Lotus Notes for email. That was probably the worst piece of software I have ever used - I think baboons on drugs could have done a better design job. IBM set up a T1 (1.54 Mbps) link between the customer and the local IBM hub for email, etc. It sounds great until you realize there were over 150 people involved and due to the settings of Notes replication, it could often take over an hour to actually download email to read.

    To do my job I needed to install some IBM software. My PC did not have enough disk space for this software as well as the other software I needed. Rather than buy me a bigger hard disk I had to spend 8 hours a week installing and reinstalling software to do my job.

    I waited three months for a $50 stick of memory to be approved. When it finally arrived my machine had been changed out (due to a new customer project) and the memory was not compatible! Since I worked on a lot of projects I often had machines supplied by the customer on my desk. So, I would use one of these as my personal PC and would get an upgrade when the next project started!

    I was told I could not be supplied with a laptop or desktop from IBM as they were too expensive (my IBM division did not want to spend money on anything). IBM charged themselves 3x the actual price to customers for their ThinkPads at the time! This meant that I never had a laptop or desktop PC from IBM in the 8 years I worked there. If it wasn't for the project work I did I would not have had a PC to work on!

    IBM has many strange and weird processes that allow them to circumvent the contract they have with their preferred contractor companies. This meant that for a number of years I ended up getting a pay cut. What was strange is that every single time I got a pay cut, IBM would then announce that they had bought a new company! I would have quit long before I did, but I was tied to them while waiting for my Green Card to be approved. I know that raises are few in the current IBM for normal employees and that IBM always pleads poverty for any employee request. Yet, they somehow manage to pay billions of dollars for a new company. Strange that, isn't it?

    Eventually I was approved to get a laptop and excitedly watched it move slowly through the delivery system. I got confused when it was reported as delivered to Ohio rather than my work (not in Ohio). After some careful searching I discovered that my manager and his wife both worked for IBM from their home in, yes you can guess, Ohio. It looked like he had redirected my new laptop for his own use and most likely was going to send me his old one and claim it was a new one. I never got the chance to confront him about it, though, as IBM lost the contract with the customer that month and before the laptop should have arrived IBM was out! I moved to the company that had won the contract and regret not having the chance to tell that IBM manager what I thought about him and where he could stick the new laptop.

    After that experience I decided to never work for them in any capacity ever again. I feel pity for the current Red Hat employees and my only advice to them is to get out while they can.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wish upon a Register

    Just a few days ago I remarked here that it would be a good idea to string up Potty pour encourager les autres.


    "It would be a very good thing if my bank balance were to increase by £10M"

    That should do it!

  31. rmstock


    Certain Hollywood stars seem to be psychic types :

    1. rmstock


      I sense that a global effort is ongoing to shutdown open source software by brute force. First, the enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by to enable untraceable takeovers of domains. Microsoft buying github. Linus Torvalds forced out of his own Linux kernel project because of the Code of Conduct and now IBM buying RedHat. I wrote the following at "Torvalds should lawyer up. The problems are the large IT Tech firms who platinum donated all over the place in Open Source land. When IBM donated with 1 billion USD to Linux in 2000 a friend who vehemently was against the GPL and what Torvalds was doing, told me that in due time OSS would simply just go away.

      These Community Organizers, not Coders per se, are on a mission to overtake and control the Linux Foundation, and if they can’t, will search and destroy all of it, even if it destroys themselves. Coraline is merely a expendable pion here. Torvalds is now facing unjust confrontations and charges resembling the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Looking at the CoC document it even might have been written by a Google executive, who themselves currently are facing serious charges and lawsuits from their own Code of Conduct. See, their leaked video the day after the election of 2016. They will do anything to pursue this. However to pursue a personal bias or agenda furnishing enactments or acts such as to, omit contradicting facts (code), commit perjury, attend riots and harassments, cleanse Internet archives and search engines of exculpatory evidence and ultimately hire hit-men to exterminate witnesses of truth (developers), in an attempt to elevate bias as fabricated fact (code) are crimes and should be prosecuted accordingly."

      1. ROC


        Dunno about most of your points, but there is a big difference between Linus' well-documented vitriolic outbursts online, and the overblown mess of "she said"-"he said" disputed memories (35 years ago) of Ford and Kavanaugh. Linus is supposedly coming "back to work".


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