I Won't Dance. Don't Ask Me

Sperry resists Burroughs' proposal to join forces against IBM

In the market for large computers there are no sporting rivalries like Coke vs. Pepsi, Hertz vs. Avis, or Heinz vs. Hunt's. It is only IBM against the field. Big Blue controls almost 63% of the worldwide market, while an assortment of relatively puny competitors gets the rest. But one of those companies, Detroit's Burroughs (1985 sales: $5 billion), is determined to acquire one of its fellow underdogs and give Big Blue a run for its data. Burroughs has chosen as its partner-to-be a somewhat larger competitor, Sperry of New York City (fiscal 1986 sales: $5.7 billion). The two companies, which...

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