By Ben Fox Rubin
SAP AG (SAP, SAP.XE) and Ariba Inc. (ARBA) said they are responding to a second request for information from the U.S. Justice Department regarding SAP's pending acquisition of Ariba.
SAP, a German business-management software maker, in May agreed to buy Internet commerce company Ariba for $4.3 billion, as SAP sought new growth to keep pace with rival Oracle Corp. (ORCL).
The second request is part of a regulatory approval process under anti-trust laws. The companies said they intend to continue working with the Justice Department and expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Ariba offers a global network to track and manage corporate purchases, and its network would be combined with SAP's resource planning and back office software suite.
The acquisition comes as more enterprises turn to the cloud for software that is either installed behind corporate firewalls or streamed into their businesses from remote servers. Cloud proponents say the software is less costly and easier to update and maintain than programs customers install at their own data centers.
SAP has found it difficult to deliver cloud software as a service. It launched its Business ByDesign cloud service in 2007 with the goal of signing up 10,000 customers and had attracted about 1,000 customers by the end of last year. The company acquired U.S. based SuccessFactors Inc. for $3.4 billion in February in an effort to boost its presence in the cloud. It indicated recently that the company needed to grow its cloud business even faster.
In April, SAP said its first-quarter profit rose despite weak sales in North America and some European markets.
SAP's American depositary shares were up 17 cents at $60.20 and Ariba's shares were down 22 cents at $44.55.
Write to Ben Fox Rubin at email@example.com