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By David Benoit

Oracle isn’t sitting quietly by today after rival SAP bought a cloud-computing company Tuesday.

It is buying cloud-based social-marketing company Vitrue for an undisclosed amount.

The move comes only hours after SAP spent $4.3 billion on Ariba and marks yet another shot fired in the Great Cloud Computing Mobilization.

This is Oracle’s third deal this year after making a large deal last year. CEO Larry Ellison has in the past dismissed cloud computing as “gibberish,” but it appears Oracle is now gathering as much cloud as it can.

“The proliferation of social media and an increased demand by consumers to engage with brands across multiple social channels is driving chief marketing officers to look for an integrated social marketing platform,” said Thomas Kurian, Oracle executive vice president said in today’s release. “Vitrue’s leading social marketing and engagement platform coupled with Oracle’s leading sales, service, and commerce products offers a complete social experience solution to our customers.”

Dell and IBM have also been arming up with acquisitions too, but even still the total value of “high technology” deals this year is lagging last year by 29% according to Thomson Reuters, which updated its figures following SAP’s deal.

And analysts reacting to the SAP deal believe there will be more to come.

Stifel Nicolaus said it believed Oracle and IBM were also likely interested in acquiring Ariba, though it didn’t predict them coming in with a hostile bid for Ariba.

“SAP is making an aggressive cloud push and we expect others to follow, which should be constructive for group valuations in coming quarters,” Stifel said.

Roth Capital noted about the SAP-Ariba deal that the break-up fee of $150 million wasn’t a particularly hefty deterrent for a competitive bid, though it said it doesn’t expect one to emerge.

For now, shares of others in the various companies deemed as cloud-computing targets are split as the market drops sharply. SciQuest, Responsys and Ultimate Software are up 2.8%, 1.8% and 1.1% in recent trading, among the other names analysts say could be targets.

Originally published in WSJ

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