Oracle has agreed to acquire Siebel Systems for $5.85b.
For Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, the deal is a victory on multiple fronts.
For starters the acquisition eliminates another competitor in the enterprise software market and strengthens its portfolio in the battle for market dominance against SAP.
But it also means check mate in a personal feud between the founders of the two vendors: Tom Siebel and Larry Ellison.
Siebel used to work for Oracle and came up with the idea for customer relationship management software while he was there. Siebel pitched the idea to Ellison, who turned it down. Siebel left and went on to found Siebel Systems. Initially the venture was a great success and at that time Tom Siebel all too happy to rub his success into Ellison's face.
Needless to say that the two gentlemen didn't get along very well anymore.
Then the tide turned. CRM lost its shine, users shunned the software and projects started to fail. Meanwhile hosted CRM emerged as the new promise, a movement that Siebel failed to spot or address. Tom Siebel stepped back as chief executive for Siebel Systems, but that couldn't stop the firm's downward spiral.
Last year Larry Ellison testified in federal court that Siebel had come to his house to ask him to by his software venture. Ellison declined. Siebel kept slipping.
The $5.85b that Oracle offered today is still a considerable amount of money, but a far cry from Siebel's valuation back in 2002.
Tom Siebel tried to battle his former boss, but in the end he failed.
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