Why Oracle worked so hard to grab Retek

Oracle late Monday put an end to the bidding war with SAP for retail software maker Retek. The database software giant offered $11.25 for each outstanding Retek share and said that SAP had dropped out of the bidding. SAP last Thursday had upped its bid to $11, from its initial offer of $8.50 per share.

Why the fuss over Retek? Both Oracle and SAP see the retail market as one of the few fertile areas left in the enterprise software market, worth perhaps $10 billion. Analysts say many retailers, which have lagged their counterparts in other industries in adopting information technology, and overdue for a spending spree.

Oracle's database and infrastructure software sales team also now gains access Retek's impressive customer list, which includes Best Buy, The Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nordstrom, Britain's Sainsbury's and others.

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