IBM to Acquire Companies in India

By Suryamurthy Ramachandran | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

New Delhi ( - The global leader in information technology, IBM, during its launching of an e-business center in New Delhi Monday, said it plans to acquire companies in India.

''We are always looking at acquisition opportunities, but we cannot tell you any specific case at this stage,'' said Ranjig Limaya, managing director of IBM India, a fully owned subsidiary of the IT parent corporation.

The e-business center is IBM's second such facility in the world that combines its global expertise and Indian talent.

''The center will provide focus on the area of e-governance and employees for the government. It signifies our commitment to the development of e-environment in this region.''

The e-business facility is part of IBM's initiative to increase commitment and investment in India.

The corporation already has established strong presence in the country. Besides two software development centers in Bangalore and Pune, the company has set up a technology center in Bombay. It has a PC manufacturing facility at Pondicherry as well.

Meanwhile, the US court order to split Microsoft would have no major effect in India, and it could lead to some local competitions, software firms and analysts in New Delhi said.

K Parameswaran, president of Bells Softech, said, "India is known for software technology brains and not products. The order will have an impact in the US and other world markets, not here specifically."

US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson Thursday came down on the side of the US government, adopting its recommendation that Microsoft be split in two as punishment for having abused its monopoly.

"There will be no major effect on Indian users except they may find it hard, if the split occurs, to buy the systems and the applications software from two different Microsoft entities as it will push up costs," Sunder Rajan, Director of LG Soft India Pvt Ltd., said.

About 95 percent of India's estimated 3.5 million personal computers have Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

Venture capitalist Sunil Sharma said the decision may open up more opportunities for Indian software companies to make deals with Microsoft rivals.

"I think it is very good for the software industry worldwide. Small companies were choked off from entering the market. In the short-term, it may not have any effect, but in the long-term, one can see a lot of innovative products.

Rajeev Nair, Microsoft's chief of Indian operations, said the judgment was "not the final word.

"We remain confident that Microsoft's legal position will be vindicated and our actions will be seen as good for competition and consumers," he said in a statement.