IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) apparently are moving closer to a deal in which Big Blue would acquire one of its high-tech competitors, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets are reporting.

The Wall Street Journal first reported a possible deal two weeks ago.

IBM Corp. and rival Sun Microsystems Inc. are in the final stages of negotiations over IBM’s takeover of Sun. A deal could be announced within days.

Haggling over price is one reason the acquisition hasn’t happened yet, according to the Associated Press.

People briefed on the negotiations told The AP that the last specifics of the deal are being worked out. Those people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported on their Web sites Thursday that IBM will likely pay between $9 and $10 per share for Sun. Earlier discussions involved a price of about $10 to $11 per share.

A deal at the lower price would be worth around $7 billion.

Such a combination would shake up the corporate computing landscape and likely draw antitrust scrutiny.

The latest development, according to sources, is that IBM would pay a lower per-share price for Sun than originally discussed.

“Sun has agreed to accept a lower price in return for stronger commitments from IBM that it will complete the deal even if it faces intense regulatory scrutiny,” the Journal said, citing the unnamed sources.

Whether a deal will be struck remains “unclear,” the Journal said.

Sun and IBM declined comment.

IBM shares traded at $100.82, up $3.21, or 3.3 percent, Thursday afternoon after the latest story broke.

Sun shares traded up 21 cents at $8.21.

IBM employs some 11,000 people at its campus in the Triangle. Sun has a small presence in the Triangle.