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Business

In Software Battle, Oracle Wins Retek

Oracle said Tuesday it won the bidding war for business software maker Retek after German rival SAP dropped out. Oracle, the world's second-largest software maker -- but behind SAP in business management software -- agreed to pay $630 million (477 million euros), or $11.25 a share, for Retek, which specializes in management software for retailers. Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison told AFP that the acquisition of Retek "strengthens our position in the retail applications market globally." Retek brings to the Silicon Valley-based Oracle a group of prestigious retail clients, including US apparel giant The Gap, electronic retailer Best Buy and British supermarket group Sainsbury. Retek provides customers in the retail industry with software to help them carry out a variety of tasks, such as managing sales and tracking financial and inventory data. It has more than 200 customers in 20 countries. The companies are now realizing the need to update technology to keep pace as giant retailers like Wal-Mart have become a huge force across the industry. A spokesman for SAP, Europe's largest software group, confirmed that the company had backed out but declined further comment. Meanwhile, the rivalry between the firms has since intensified, and Oracle's latest move could hinder SAP from gaining a stronger footing in the United States, the world's largest software market.

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