Leaders in Atlanta believe they can lure the headquarters of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) away Raleigh, and N.C. leaders know they are in a fight to keep the Hatters’ red fedoras in the City of Oaks.

In a report Saturday the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said landing Red Hat

Following up on stories first reported by the Triangle Business Journal and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Journal-Constitution reported that Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is concerned about Red Hat.

“We have heard Atlanta, Austin [Texas] and Boston, as well as Raleigh,” he told the newspaper. “They are a significant company here in Raleigh and have been very successful despite the recession. My understanding is they are reviewing states for their incentives and work force. We’re working hard with the state of North Carolina and are very anxious that the company stays here.”

Red Hat, the world’s top developer and provider of Linux software and solutions, already has a presence in Atlanta, having bought Georgia-based JBoss four years ago. Plus, Red Hat Chief Executive Officer Jim Whitehurst was hired away from Delta Air Lines where he was chief operating officer.

Red Hat has been based in the Triangle area since 1996.

What’s Red Hat thinking?

“Red Hat is a growing, thriving company. We are always planning for expansion and examining our best options,” spokeswoman Kara Schiltz told the Journal-Constitution.

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