EC Threatens Oracles Sun Acquisition?

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-09-30 Print this article Print

In other news involving Oracle, the Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 30 that it saw documents stating that the European Commission, which is currently performing due diligence on the company's proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun, may object to Oracle acquiring the open-source MySQL database as part of the Sun deal.

The European Union is concerned that the merger will hinder competition in the enterprise database business. Oracle, with its acquisitions of PeopleSoft and Siebel, already owns nearly half of the enterprise parallel database market. IBM, with its DB2, comes in at around 22 percent. Microsoft SQL Server has about 19 percent, with Sybase, Teradata, Ingres and Sun's open-source MySQL making up most of the final 9 percent. Oracle would control more than half the market following the Sun acquisition, most analysts agree.

But Oracle is reluctant to give up Sun's MySQL database because it gives it a legitimate competitor to Microsoft's SQL Server, the market leader in the midrange IT segment.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the nation's antitrust law enforcer, sanctioned the Oracle-Sun deal on Aug. 20.

But the deal cannot proceed until the European Union makes its own decision. The commission has until Jan. 19 to rule on the takeover.

Meanwhile, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said recently Sun is losing about $100 million per month-due largely to uncertainty among its customers about whether the deal will be completed.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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