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2003 Top Ten: Mergers & Acquisitions

It was an acquisitive year: One company alone spent more than $3.5 billion to buy startups

As 2003 draws to a close, it's time to look back, eggnog in hand, and check out the consolidation that's increasingly taking place in the storage networking market.

At the center of it all is EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which gave everybody around 4 billion reasons to think of it as a software company this year. This hungry outfit put up roughly $3.65 billion to buy three companies in the second half of 2003 in an attempt to drive its software sales to 30 percent of its total. We dont know yet if the strategy will work, but it did give EMC the top three spots in the Byte and Switch list of the Top 10 Acquisitions of 2003. (And that’s what really matters, right?)

Other storage players had money to spend as well. EMC's software rival, Veritas Software Corp., and switch-maker McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) made two significant acquisitions apiece in a year when established companies liked to play "Scoop Up the Startup."

All this activity made it a great accomplishment to crack our Top 10. Here it is, in what we think is order of significance:

No. 1 EMC Cops Documentum

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