IBM is said to be close to completing its purchase of  Sun after dropping the price, according to the New York Times. IBM will acquire Sun for about $9.50 (£6.42) per share, a dollar less than the reported original price.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with discussions between the companies, the DealBook column of the Times' business section reported that the deal could be imminent and could be announced later today.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that IBM had dropped its takeover price, also citing unnamed sources. Sun agreed to the lower price "in return for strong commitments from IBM that it will complete the deal even if it faces intense regulatory scrutiny," the Journal said, again citing anonymous sources.

Analysts have noted that overlap between the two companies could lead to regulatory issues and the Journal further reported that Sun is also concerned that such matters would keep the deal on hold for an extended period and lead to conditions being imposed for the acquisition to be finalised.

If the two companies join forces, they will have more than 40 percent of server market share.

A Sun spokeswoman and an IBM spokesman said separately that their companies do not comment on rumours - the standard line in such instances.