Oracles PeopleSoft Bid Under Scrutiny in Canada, EU

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-08-13 Print this article Print

The mob of regulatory authorities eyeballing Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft now includes Canada and the European Union.

The mob of regulatory authorities eyeballing Oracle Corp.s hostile bid for PeopleSoft Inc. now includes Canada and the European Union. Robert Lancop, assistant deputy commissioner in Canadas Competition Bureaus mergers branch, said that his departments review is standard operating procedure when a proposed merger meets certain criteria. Those criteria include whenever combined companies would have sales equivalent to a minimum of $400 million (Canadian) in imports, exports or sales within Canada, and if the merger price reaches at least $50 million (Canadian).
"This is certainly one weve commenced a review on," said Lancop, in Hull, Quebec. "Whenever theres a large merger of this type, its subject to a review by us."
Canadian regulatory authorities are in close contact with their EU and U.S. counterparts to exchange information and compare notes, Lancop said. As it is, the U.S. Department of Justice and a group of U.S. state attorneys general are already putting Oracle through the review wringer. Thirty states joined together to share the costs and effort of review, while the DOJ already has made multiple requests for information from Oracle. Like its counterparts, Canadas Competition Bureau will be examining market share and competition of the two companies; barriers to market entry, including economic or regulatory barriers; competitive products; and whatever competition will be left standing after a successful merger, among other things. Interviewing customers will be a major part of the review. Lancop declined to cite the size of the customers likely to be interviewed, but he did say that his department is now in the midst of the process and that the first to be inspected have been the biggest. An Oracle spokeswoman said that neither the Canadian or EU inspections are a surprise. "This is standard procedure, and this was anticipated," she said. "Weve been in discussion with local authorities and are hoping this comes to a speedy resolution. … Were making all appropriate antitrust filings, period."
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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