Talks between IBM Corp and computer and software company Sun Microsystems Inc are on the brink of collapse, The Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Sunday.

The paper said Sun's board rejected a formal acquisition offer by IBM on Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation. They say the board felt IBM's offering price -- believed to be $9.40 or below -- was too low, the paper said.

The Wall Street Journal said Sun has sent a notice terminating IBM's agreement for exclusive negotiations, effectively breaking off the talks, citing a person familiar with the situation. In return IBM has withdrawn its offer to buy Sun, it said, citing a person informed about the situation.

The New York Times also reported that IBM withdrew its bid for Sun.

Sources told Reuters in March that IBM was in talks to buy Sun. A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Saturday that IBM lowered its offer price for Sun to $9.50 a share from $9.55 a share.

Sun's shares closed up 28 cents at $8.49 on Friday.

Sun and IBM were not immediately available for comment.

Buying Sun would hand IBM a clear lead at the high end of the $45 billion overall server market fought over with Hewlett-Packard Co . It would broaden IBM's software portfolio, add storage products that vie with EMC Corp and Network Appliance Inc and provide an edge over Cisco Systems Inc , which some see as its biggest rival in the long term.

(Additional reporting by Ritsuko Ando in New York and Jim Finkle in Boston, editing by Martin Golan)