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Potential IBM Takeover of Sun Microsystems May Have Green Fallout

ibm-logo2IBM’s potential takeover of Sun Microsystems has been making headlines since late last week. As the deal is further scrutinized, some pundits are wondering whether the takeover would be a net positive or net negative in the realm of sustainability.

Sun Microsystems has long been a leader in sustainable initiatives. Sun has put a lot of emphasis on developing energy efficient data centers. It has cut its own GHG emissions 20 percent. It was a founding member of the Business Coalition for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). It has won numerous green awards.

In recent years, IBM has come a long way in recognizing the business value in addressing energy efficiency and issues regarding water, carbon emissions and the environment in general. IBM recently announced its intention to develop business around water. It established a consulting wing to help governments address sustainability. And its Strategic Carbon Management program helps clients reduce their emissions.

An IBM purchase of Sun would bring along with it the Java-based open mobile platform for cloud computing. That could present an oppportunity for sustainable IT systems, BusinessWeek reports, because IBM has enough firepower to help boost the appeal of Sun’s Eco Responsibility Initiative.

Also, IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign could benefit from the Java platform, the article states.

There is a danger, however, of the deal reducing competitiveness in the marketplace for sustainably oriented IT services, which may then lead to reduced innovation.

IBM is thought to be offering $10-11 a share for Sun, which had been trading around $5 before the merger rumors started, Bloomberg reports. An anti-trust review may stand in the way of the deal, because IBM and Sun are the top-two players in the Unix server market, the Street reports.

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