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Photo: Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

IBM announced Sunday it would acquire Linux specialist Red Hat in a deal valued at $34 billion in cash and debt. That works out to $190 per share, a hefty premium to where the software maker has been trading, and the largest software acquisition of all-time.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kim Hart: IBM has been shifting for years away from mainframes and servers to selling software and services that bring recurring revenue. Red Hat, which charges corporate clients for custom-built Linux offerings, fits into that strategy.

The move comes as others are also doubling down on Linux, including longtime rival Microsoft which just completed its $7.5 billion GitHub purchase and recently joined an effort that helps protect open source by sharing patent rights.

The details:

  • The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019
  • Red Hat will become a standalone unit in IBM's cloud unit and keep its existing leaders and location.
  • IBM said it should add to free cash flow and profit margins within 12 months

What they're saying:

  • N.Y. Times tech reporter Steve Lohr: "IBM makes a big move to attract software developers and position itself as the "Switzerland" of the cloud world."
  • Tech journalist Simon Le Gros Bisson: "The only upside I can see to an IBM/RHAT deal is if IBM lets Red Hat run it like a reverse takeover. Otherwise it's going to be "How many Global Services consultants do you want with that OpenShift install?""
  • Red Hat engineer Dan Sneddon: "I’m having trouble picking my jaw up off the floor. This probably won’t be a bad thing in the long run, but calling this a surprise is an understatement."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

Biden condemns Russian aggression on 7th anniversary of Crimea annexation

Putin giving a speech in Sevastapol, Crimea, in 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for the people of Ukraine and vowed to hold Russia accountable for its aggression in a statement on Friday, the 7th anniversary of Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Why it matters: The statement reflects the aggressive approach Biden is taking to Russia, which he classified on the campaign trail as an "opponent" and "the biggest threat" to U.S. security and alliances.