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July IT Industry News

Every month I take a 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry. This is my overview of July's news, with a brief reminder of what was news in July the last couple of years! What you see here is a precis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available at the Eagle website over the next day or two.

Two years ago in July 2006 AMD bought ATI for $5.4B, HP bought Mercury Interactive for $4.5B and EMC paid $2.1B for RSA Security. Microsoft was fined $350M by the EU for abusing its "near monopoly" and Kazaa paid $100M + to settle its file sharing lawsuits. Last year in July 2007 HP paid $1.6B to buy Opsware, Steria paid $1B for Xansa, IBM paid $160M for BI company Datamirror (and still bought Cognos) and Google paid $625M for Postini.

In July 2008 the big deal is the purchase of Foundry Networks by Brocade Communications for $3B. IBM had a couple of acquisitions paying $340M for ILOG and an undisclosed amount for Platform Solutions. British Telecom paid $105M for web telephony company Ribbit and Microsoft also had a couple of acquisitions (DATAllegro and Powerset). Open Text continues its spending spree with a couple more buys (eMotion plus a division of Spicer). Other noteworthy companies in the M&A space included Virgin Mobile USA, Oracle and Cisco.

Commensurate with the economic climate we saw some conflicting reports with NACCB announcing record IT employment in the US and CDW suggesting that 51% of businesses will increase IT budgets in the next 6 months. On the flip side US tech worker confidence is down and employment numbers in Canada were down in June. Gartner released a tough report about security in the cloud computing world and the "spam king" Robert Soloway was jailed for 47 months.

Bell Canada's reinvention under new ownership began with changes at the top and an announcement that 2,500 management jobs will be cut. AMD's CEO quit after seven consecutive quarterly losses and Apple surpassed Acer to become the number 3 PC vendor in the US. Alcatel Lucent saw changes at the top with both CEO (Patricia Russo) and Chair (Serge Tchuruk ) leaving. July also saw the official retirement of Windows XP!

That's what caught my eye over the last month, for more details go to the Eagle web site where the full edition should be available over the next couple of business days. Hope this was useful and I'll be back with August's news in just about a month's time.