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Data Domain Rejects EMC's Offer; EMC May Raise Bid

Data Domain's board of directors on Monday issued a statement that urged shareholders to reject the offer by EMC to acquire the company for $30 a share "at this time" and encouraged them to vote in favor of a merger agreement with NetApp.At the same time, the Reuters wire service reported that sources said EMC planned to increase its offer for the storage vendor and its popular data deduplication technology, perhaps to as much as $35 a share.EMC made a bid to acquire Data Domain for $30 a share, shortly after Data Domain agreed to be acquired by NetApp for $1.5 billion in cash and stock. NetApp quickly increased its offer to match that made by EMC.Reuters reported today that "EMC's strategy, according to one of the sources who has knowledge of its thinking, is to either win Data Domain, or at least drive the price high enough to make the acquisition very expensive for NetApp and weaken the smaller rival's finances."The news service noted that EMC could easily outbid NetApp because of its stronger financial position, according to analysts. EMC had annual revenue of nearly $15 billion, while NetApp had revenue of around $3.4 billion in its last fiscal year. But a combination of EMC and NetApp could raise antitrust questions among regulators. "EMC has about $7.1 billion in cash, including $4 billion in the United States, and could go as high as $34 to $35 per share, said another source," Reuters reported.

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