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Oracle spends $220 million on Portal Software

To fill out applications line, Oracle buys specialist in billing for the communications and media industry.

Oracle plans to spend $220 million in cash to buy Portal Software, filling out its applications line with software geared to the communications and media industry.

The software giant on Monday announced the acquisition, saying Cupertino, Calif.-based Portal's billing and "revenue management" software will complement Oracle's existing packaged applications.

"We supply technology and applications to over 90 percent of communications companies worldwide today, and billing is a logical and complementary addition for those customers," Oracle President Charles Phillips said in a statement.

The purchase fits Oracle's stated goal to buy applications companies with expertise in specific industries. For example, Oracle bought retail industry specialist Retek and financial-services market specialist iFlex.

Portal has built packaged applications for billing customers of multiple communications services, such as phone, wireless, broadband and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It had losses of $40 million on revenue of $126.75 million in its last fiscal year.

Portal's current employees will form the basis of a communications business unit in the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database giant, Oracle said. They will focus on billing and revenue management.