In an event not as surprising as this morning's buyout announcement, but still noteworthy, Oracle has purchased BEA Systems. The middleware maker was snapped up for the sum of $8.5 billion, the second offer Oracle put forward. "BEA had long been considered a prime takeover target in an industry that has been consolidating for several years, but BEA executives had repeatedly dismissed Oracle's overtures, saying the company could perform better independently. Mr. Icahn began buying up BEA shares last summer, and today owns 13 percent of the company. The deal makes Oracle the undisputed leader in the market for middleware, business software that gets its name from its role as a layer of programming code that resides between a company's database system and the payroll, human resources and inventory systems that use the same data."