In what will be the year’s largest deal in health tech, software giant Oracle has agreed to acquire electronic health record company Cerner for $28.3 billion. The impending deal, first reported Friday by the Wall Street Journal, sent Cerner stock up more than 12% to a market value of about $26 billion.
The planned deal comes as Cerner, long locked in a battle for EHR supremacy with Epic, has fallen behind its biggest competitor, with a 25% U.S. market share to Epic’s 31%, according to research firm KLAS. It is also facing a growing threat from companies looking to make an impact in electronic health records, including the world’s largest tech companies. Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have all invested in efforts to build clinical and administrative tools, some tapping into existing health records and others building their own data management systems. And new companies like Commure are entering the market promising frameworks for leveraging patients’ health data to drive better outcomes.