Compaq Computer Corporation announced this morning that it was purchasing Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for a record $9.6 billion, making it the biggest deal in the history of the computer industry. The purchase makes DEC a wholly-owned subsidiary of Compaq, which is now the third largest computer maker on the planet.

"We put tremendous value on the customer relationships Digital has cultivated over the past 40 years," said Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer. "We are committed to supporting these key customer relationships by investing in Digital's strategic assets, particularly its worldwide service organization, as well as its 64-bit leadership with Alpha microprocessors, OpenVMS, Digital Unix and Windows NT enterprise systems, open storage and software products."

The deal, which Compaq says will make it money within a year, had been rumored for over a year. In the meantime, Digital has been busy shedding divisions and overhead, making the buyout more feasible