Afternoon Coffee: SAP and Ariba Officially Close,, No Bacon Shortage

And there you have it, folks. (Stay tuned for our full analysis later this week).
SAP closes $4.51 billion Ariba acquisition -- German business software maker SAP AG said Monday that it has closed its $4.51 billion acquisition of Ariba Inc., a maker of Web-based software that connects suppliers and buyers online. The deal continues SAP's rivalry with Oracle Corp. Both companies are buying up smaller ones that, like Ariba, provide software that's hosted on remote servers, in the so-called "cloud." Cloud-based applications remove the need for businesses to install and run software in-house.

The newest Spend Matters UK/Europe venture!
search4procurement -- [from the Spend Matters UK/Europe newsletter] ...we have also launched a new venture this week – the Spend Matters search4 procurement jobs website. It will advertise a great range of procurement and supply chain jobs, in the UK and (in time) further afield we hope. Without wishing to sound too pretentious, we think procurement and supply chain people deserve a recruitment site that has a simple goal: to serve our professional market, candidates and recruiters, as well as is humanly possible.

There Will Be No Bacon Shortage -- It all began, strangely enough, with a press release from an obscure foreign trade association. The National Pig Association of the United Kingdom, you see, wants British customers to feel OK about the idea of paying a higher retail price for pork products. They'd particularly like it if British customers went out of their way to buy locally produced pork. And why wouldn't they? "Vendors want you to buy more of their product at higher prices" is more or less the ultimate dog bites man (or, as the case may be, pork chop) story. But the press release's provocative lede--"A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable"--captured the imagination of the Internet. Not right away, mind you. The release is dated Sept. 20, but the looming bacon shortage didn't start making global headlines until Tuesday, Sept. 25.

China's Growing Pork Sector Could Strain Global Corn Supplies -- If China's pork sector continues to grow at the pace it is today, the industry's demand for corn within the next five years could have a significant impact on the world's supply. According to a new report, "The Industrialization of China's Pork Supply Chain," issued by Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory Group, China's corn imports could approach 22 million tons, annually.

Remember when a Sony Discman was the best thing ever?
The CD, At 30, Is Feeling Its Age -- The CD was supposed to have the last word when it came to convenience and sound quality. And for a while, it did. The CD dominated record sales for more than two decades -- from the late 1980s until just last year, when sales of digital tracks finally surpassed those of physical albums. It's a cycle that has played out many times in the history of the music industry, with remarkable consistency. Sam Brylawski, the former head of the recorded sound division at the Library of Congress, says, "If you look at the last 110, 115 years, the major formats all have about 20 to 30 years of primacy." He says one of the biggest factors driving this cycle is a desire on the part of manufacturers to sell new players every generation or so. "The real money -- the real profits -- for companies have been in the sales of hardware. That is to say, machines that play back recordings."

- Sheena Moore

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