Why 2018 Was a Breakout Year for Open Source Deals

Klint Finley | Wired | December 23, 2018

At the beginning of 2018, it didn't seem like the open source movement could get any bigger. Android, the world's most popular mobile operating system; websites including Facebook and Wikipedia; and a growing number of gadgets have open source software under the hood-literally, in the case of cars. The world's largest companies, including Walmart and JP Morgan Chase, not only use open source but have released their own open source software so the rest of the world can modify and share their code.

Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM, at right, and James M. Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat,Then, in June, Microsoft announced plans to buy GitHub, the platform used by millions of developers and companies, including Google and Walmart, to host popular open source projects, for $7.5 billion. Four months later, IBM said it will buy Red Hat, a company that open sources all of its products, for $34 billion, one of the biggest acquisitions in tech history.

The Red Hat and GitHub acquisitions overshadowed some smaller deals that in another year would have been big news in the open source community, including Salesforce's $6.5 billion acquisition of Mulesoft, which helps companies move applications to the cloud; Adobe's $1.68 billion acquisition of ecommerce company Magento; and AT&T's acquisition of Alien Vault, which makes an open source security management system, for an undisclosed amount...