IBM's talks to acquire computer hardware maker Sun Microsystems $7bn (£4.7bn) takeover have broken down, media reports say. The talks were said to be in their final stages in recent days and it is not clear whether the collapse in negotiations is final. News that the tie-up was in trouble sent Sun shares down 22% in morning trade, while IBM shares slipped 2%. Buying Sun would have been IBM's biggest purchase to date. IBM reportedly offered about $9.50 per share, near double the value of Sun's shares when the deal was first reported last month. Sun, which developed the Java programming language, was an investor darling during the technology boom. But the firm is being hit as the recession dents demand for its products.