IBM is buying Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4bn (£972m).
Sterling makes middleware and business integration software as well as products to help companies deal with multi-channel selling.
Sterling's customer list includes comms companies, like AT&T, to financial services, retail, logistics and distribution and manufacturing suppliers. The firm claims over 18,000 customers, including 80 per cent of the Fortune 500.
IBM promised to continue to support existing SC products and customers.
About 2,500 Sterling staff will join IBM's WebSphere department.
Both sides hope the deal will be done in the second half of 2010, subject to regulatory approval. AT&T hopes to bank a $750m one-off, pre-tax gain as a result of the sale.
Press release here. ®