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Larry Ellison. Photo by Bloomberg.

Larry Ellison’s $28 Billion Jab at Amazon

Photo: Larry Ellison. Photo by Bloomberg.

Larry Ellison rarely misses an opportunity to take a swipe at Amazon Web Services, whether it’s about its security or its not-infrequent outages. But with his deal today to buy Cerner Corp. for $28 billion, Ellison has a chance to inflict a bit of pain on his Amazon nemesis. While hardly a household name, Cerner has been an important and high-profile AWS customer in electronic health records—a fat and juicy market for cloud providers looking for growth. Now Cerner will become part of Oracle, and at least some portion of its business seems likely to move to Oracle’s cloud. Score one for Ellison over Andy Jassy.

There’s another interesting element of this deal, which relates to Cerner’s recent history. This is a 40-year-old healthcare IT company that has had virtually no growth in its top line since 2017. Its stock has gone nowhere in that time. In May its CEO, Brent Shafer, stepped down after three years. He was succeeded on Oct. 1 by David Feinberg, who joined from Google Health. That’s two and a half months ago, for anyone who might be dozing off right now. 

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