Database maker Oracle is in talks to buy Micros Systems, the outfit which makes software and point-of-sale hardware for retailers and hotel chains.
The deal is expected to be worth around $5 billion and is still being negotiated.
Micros Systems makes point-of-sale hardware and software for restaurants and hotels. Neither side is confirming the deal is taking place.
Word on the strasse is that Oracle rivals will be rushing to stick their oar in and offer higher bids to drive up the price. They may not want to buy Micros Systems but they do like seeing Larry Ellison get very cross having to pay more for something than he expected.
Ellison will want the company to help it stave off threat from software-as-a-service e-commerce vendors such as Demandware and NetSuite.
Oracle has been rolling out its own cloud-based products and acquiring smaller cloud companies such as marketing software maker Responsys.
Ellison has reorganised his sales team to catch up with rivals such as Salesforce.com, SAP and Workday.
Smaller, aggressive companies like Salesforce.com and Workday have often undercut Oracle's pricing.
Oracle reported quarterly revenue and profit that failed to satisfy investors looking for signs of a sustained turnaround and forecast in-line current-quarter results in March. The company is expected to report fourth quarter results on June 19.
The deal, if confirmed, would be Oracle's largest acquisition since it bought Sun Microsystems for $5.6 billion in 2009.