[caption id="attachment_41005" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Blackboard on July 7 announced plans to buy Elluminate and Wimba, both of which support online learning."]Blackboard on July 7 announced plans to buy Elluminate and Wimba, both of which support online learning.[/caption]

The world’s largest technology companies have been on a buying spree, spending billions of dollars to snap up smaller companies. And often the buyers say they’re doing it for their customers—businesses, hospitals, government agencies, and schools.

As tech companies get bigger and bigger, they say, they can offer a broader variety of products and make it easier...

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