IBM asks EU to review its bid for Cognos

IBM asks EU to review its bid for Cognos

Leading computer technology company International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has asked European Union (EU) antitrust regulators to examine its $4.9 billion (Rs19,404 crore) bid for Cognos Inc., the world’s second largest maker of business analysis software.

IBM, in its largest acquisition, aims to compete with Oracle Corp. and SAP AG in providing software that tracks corporate performance. Cognos’ so-called business-intelligence programmes help firms monitor data on budgets and inventory, and analyse whether they are meeting targets.

The European Commission, EU’s antitrust regulator, said the notification was made on 13 December. The regulator can approve the transaction or force changes such as asset sales. It will rule by 29 January.

Cognos is IBM’s first purchase of more than $1 billion since the October 2006 acquisition of Internet Security Systems Inc., which cost about $1.3 billion. IBM has spent about $15 billion since 2001 to build up its software unit, whose profit margins are almost twice as high as those for the rest of the firm.

(Kenneth Wong in Berlin contributed to this story.)