Conway Speaks

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2004-07-21 Print this article Print

It was only in the final stages of the trial that the government tried to support a "collateral effects" case claiming that after the PeopleSoft buyout, Oracle and SAP would both have the opportunity to raise prices because together the two companies would have controlling market power in the high-end enterprise software market.

Walker asked Wall to explain why Oracle couldnt invest $7.7 billion in research and development to improve its competitive position rather than spend it on buying PeopleSoft. Wall argued that this was the best way for Oracle to remain competitive with SAP and other competitors in the market.

Walker also expressed frustration with the highly technical jargon used by the many experts, customers and industry executives who testified in the case. "Why dont these people speak English in this case?" Walker asked. These witnesses "have forgotten more about" enterprise applications software "than I will ever know."

Wall said it has never been his practice to "read anything into the questions" that a judge asks the opposing counsel because "that tends to not be a very productive endeavor." Walker "gave each side a good workout," Wall said.

Oracle presented a strong case in its favor and "I wouldnt change a thing," he said. "We proved a lot of our case out of the mouths of the customers and witnesses" called by the government, Wall said, adding, "I think this will stand us in good stead" as Walker reviews the testimony and arguments.

Click here to read about the final post-trial briefs that detail both sides strongest arguments for and against the merger.

R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for antitrust, expressed confidence that the government would win the case, saying that a possible appeal "is not even something I have begun to think about."

PeopleSoft president and CEO Craig Conway, who was not called to testify during the trial, was present at Tuesdays closing arguments. And the end of the court session, Conway expressed relief that the trial was finally coming to a close. "My hope is for an expeditious decision," Conway said. "I was tired of the litigation a long time ago."

The prolonged trial and buyout pursuit by Oracle have brought "harm to the customers and harm to the business," Conway said.

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John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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