Oracle (ORCL -0.1%) is acquiring cloud marketing automation software firm Responsys (MKTG) for $1.5B, or $27/share, in cash. The price represents a 38% premium to Responsys' Thursday close. The deal is expected to close in 1H14.
Oracle has already made several online/social media marketing software acquisitions in recent years, the largest being its $871M purchase of Eloqua. Responsys' products, like Eloqua's, will be added to Oracle's Customer Experience Cloud, which offers a number of cloud-based sales/marketing software products..
Oracle is doubtlessly looking to better compete against Salesforce (CRM +0.5%), which just spent $2.5B to buy marketing automation software vendor ExactTarget. The deal fueled hopes Responsys or Marketo (MKTO) would be acquired as well. Marketo and Constant Contact (CTCT +4.2%) are trading higher in response to the deal.
Adobe (ADBE) is also moving aggressively in this space; it recently bought French marketing automation vendor Neolane for $600M. Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe, along with SAP and IBM, are each trying to profit from an ongoing shift in ad spend towards digital channels (inc. social media), and a shift in IT spend towards CMOs.