After much anticipation of a deal between International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Sun Microsystems Inc., the greater press is reporting that acquisition talks have stalled to the point of collapse.

According to Bloomberg reporters Connie Guglielmo and Katie Hoffman, IBM has proposed paying $9 to $10 a share for Santa Clara, California-based Sun, and IBM had been planning to announce the acquisition tomorrow, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Citing a person close to the talks, The New York Times’ Steve Lohr reported late Sunday that IBM withdrew its $7 billion bid for Sun, one day after Sun’s board balked at a slightly reduced offer.

Today, Bloomberg reports that Sun balked because there were no guarantees in the merger contract that IBM would close the deal if the companies faced barriers or delays, such as an antitrust review. A source close to the matter said they're unsure whether the potential merger is now dead, or whether negotiations will resume.

As a result of the announcement, Sun shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market have plummeted nearly 25% this morning.

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