Market disruption

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-05-18 Print this article Print

Yes, Oracle has done a fine job of disrupting the marketplace. And its starting to look more and more like thats all the company intended in the first place. Although with this new, unsweetened offer Oracle also extended the time in which shareholders can sell their shares, and in spite of the fact that the offer still represents a 20 percent premium over the going stock price, the fact of the matter is that the smaller the cash pile, the harder it will be to convince an already recalcitrant PeopleSoft board and stockholder base that the takeover is a good thing. In the meantime, theres been at least one Oracle executive quoted in the press as saying that he thinks the deal is, for all intents, dead. The LA Times quoted Henley as saying that Oracles chances for success in the venture are "not highly probable" although the company is "not done with PeopleSoft" yet. Not done with trying to acquire PeopleSoft, or not done with skewering as many customer sales as possible? After all, does Oracle really expect to win in its fights against the DOJ and the European Union? At this point, few analysts expect it to prevail.
Click here to read my take on whether Oracles PeopleSoft bid falls under the definition of antitrust. Not to say that I agree with the DOJs definition of the market—I think Oracles definition is far more accurate, particularly with Microsofts Great Plains acquisition and the potential it has for being a major player—nor that there arent many Oracle higher-ups who believe wholeheartedly in Oracles battle. Ive spoken with one high-up Oracle insider—off the record—whos close to the legal battle, and his description of the market and the judges initial reactions during the discovery phase was enough to convince me that the DOJ might face some difficulty in proving its market definition come the trial, which starts on June 7. (But then, high-up Oracle executives would really, really want to convey that impression to journalists, eh?) Next page: Analysts always hated the deal.

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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