Looking at the Scenarios
There are a number of different scenarios that could occur once a DoJ decision is made: There will either be a lawsuit filed by the DoJ in federal courtor not; if the DoJ does file suit to stop the proposed transaction, Oracle could decide to abandon the deal to avoid a lengthy and costly court battle, or it may decide to fight. Should the matter go to court at the federal level and the DoJ wins, the deal is off. On the other hand, should the DoJ lose, the deal is on again and both Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Ca., and PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Ca, are free to pursue their individual legal battles to influence the takeover deal."Even if [Oracle] said, lets spin off a couple of applications, these are to some extent integrated products," said Biggio. "Youre not going to preserve competition if you take PeopleSoft and cut it in half." The DoJs final decision on the deal is now expected between the first and second weeks of March, according to sources close to the deal. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Lilienthal confirmed the timing. "We expect a decision on or before March 12," said Lilienthal. A spokesman from the DoJ declined to comment on the timing of the decision, or on the staffs recommendation, but said the investigation is ongoing. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at database.eweek.com for more database news, views and analysis.
There is also the possibility of a settlement should the DoJ decide to take the matter to courtthough this scenario is unlikely given the difficulty in identifying and spinning off overlapping products that would be satisfactory to all parties.