Ellison: PeopleSoft CEO Blew Merger Deal
UPDATED: A year before Oracle made its bid for PeopleSoft, the two companies were deep in discussions over a possible merger, says Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at the DOJ antitrust trial, blaming PeopleSoft's ConwaySAN FRANCISCOAt the ongoing antitrust trial here, Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison testified on Wednesday that merger discussions Oracle and PeopleSoft Inc. conducted in mid-2002 failed mainly because PeopleSoft chief executive Craig Conway insisted he would remain the sole head of the merged business applications group. Conway called Ellison in June 2002 to discuss a possible merger more than a year before Oracle made its buyout bid for PeopleSoft. Before a packed courtroom here in the U.S. 9th District Court, Ellison said Conway proposed the merger discussions as the best way for PeopleSoft and Oracle to fend off competitive pressures from SAP AG as the dominant player in the business applications market.
"We thought we would be better able to compete if we joined forces," he said, adding that that at the time Ellison thought it was an "interesting idea."