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Price dispute sinks Sun's Apple buyout

Apple was discussing buyout terms with Sun Microsystems as recently as two weeks ago, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Talks broke off when the two failed to agree on a price.

Apple Computer was negotiating a buyout with Sun Microsystems up until two weeks ago, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, those familiar with the situation say the talks broke off because the two companies could not agree on a price.

For some months now, a number of rumors have been circulating that Apple was selling out: some said to Hewlett-Packard, others to IBM, still others to Sun. According to the Wall Street Journal report, these rumors did have some basis in fact.

Again citing sources in the know, the report says Apple recently solicited a bid from HP and others, and that in October, Apple CEO Michael Spindler expressed interest in starting up buyout talks with IBM, which had previously offered to buy Apple in 1994.

There is no indication that any of these deals is still in the works, and buyer interest may have cooled considerably since Apple's recent report of a $69 million first-quarter loss.