Salesforce.com to buy $2.5bn ExactTarget
US technology firm Salesforce.com says it will pay $2.5bn (€1.9bn) for marketing software maker ExactTarget, which helps companies reach customers on social networks through mobile devices.
Salesforce.com employs hundreds of staff in Dublin at its European regional sales hub and is the world's biggest maker of online sales management tools.
The acquisition – the biggest ever for Salesforce.com – is its eighth in the past year and its second major purchase focused on social media. It acquired Buddy Media, which helps big brands manage Facebook and Twitter pages, in August.
ExactTarget provides internet-based marketing software used by businesses to personalise email and text messages and to run social media ad campaigns. It has 6,000 customers, including Coca-Cola Co, Gap Inc and Nike Inc.
But investors took a dim view of Salesforce.com's latest purchase, pushing down its shares as much as 5pc in early trading.
Big technology companies such as Salesforce.com are seeking growth through acquisitions as their traditional businesses slow and rivals take advantage of social media.
Salesforce.com posted lacklustre quarterly earnings last month as costs rose following its acquisition spree.
Chief executive Marc Benioff said the company would now slow the pace of deal making.
"What you are going to see is us taking a vacation from M&A for 12 to 18 months," he said.