Regrettable Acquisition in 2005
Germany-based SAP, the world's largest maker and distributor of enterprise application software, certainly is regretting the 2005 acquisition of the now-defunct Texas-based affiliate TomorrowNow, which performed the misdeeds that led to the lawsuit and jury decision. SAP already has paid $120 million for court costs to Oracle and argued that another $40 million in restitution would constitute a fair amount. Oracle originally claimed in court documents that its lost assets were valued at $2.15 billion, although CEO Larry Ellison testified that $4 billion was closer to the actual amount.To confuse the issue even more, an Oracle damages expert, Paul Meyer, testified on Nov. 9 that SAP should pay Oracle $1.66 billion to settle the case.Background on the Case Two years after it was acquired by SAP in 2005, TomorrowNow was caught stealing Oracle's intellectual property by gaining unauthorized access to a customer-support Oracle Website and downloading copyrighted instances of support software and thousands of pages of documentation. It then resold the software and documentation to Oracle customers and tried to persuade them to switch to SAP. In the original litigation, Oracle claimed that more than 8 million instances of its enterprise support software worth $2.15 billion were stolen, stored on SAP's servers and used without its permission. It also charged that SAP/TomorrowNow deployed automated bots that used Oracle's own software to lure customers with software installations from PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel Systems (all now owned by Oracle) over to SAP. Enterprise support software, which is what TomorrowNow illegally downloaded, amounts to about half of Oracle's annual revenue.