03:37 GMT24 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US tech giant IBM has agreed to a deal with Red Hat, an open source cloud software provider, to purchase it for $34 billion, making the 107-year-old US firm the world’s biggest hybrid cloud provider.

    "IBM and Red Hat — the world's leading provider of open source cloud software — announced today that the companies have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion," the statement reads.

    IBM has hailed the agreement as the most significant tech acquisition of 2018, while CEO Ginni Rometty said the move "changes everything about the cloud market."

    Cloud computing, often referred to as simply “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis. Hybrid cloud relates to the linking of public and private cloud platforms.

    According to AFP, the deal remains subject to Red Hat shareholder approval as well as US SEC regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the latter half of 2019.

    READ MORE: Cloud Computing Close at Pentagon's Hand

    In 2015, International Business Machines (IBM) announced that it would move an expansive network of law enforcement data to the cloud for use by law enforcement agencies across North America. IBM explained in a news release that the i2 COPLINK database would facilitate information sharing among over 6,000 law enforcement agencies in North America.

    The Center for Media Justice launched an online petition last year to stop IBM from developing cloud resources that would use facial recognition technology to identify undocumented immigrants so that they can be detained, denied visas and deported from the United States. A US advocacy group said that developing such technology would be discriminatory and infringe on personal freedoms.


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