MySQL: The Main Hurdle

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-01-20 Print this article Print

The No. 1 sticking point all along has been MySQL, an open-source database that Sun bought for $1 billion two years ago. The EC has been withholding approval of the acquisition since August 2009, seeking some kind of assurance that MySQL, which originated in Finland and Sweden, will be allowed to innovate and compete fairly in the IT marketplace.

That Oracle's own proprietary database often competes directly against MySQL is seen by many industry people as an obvious conflict of interest and by some as an insurmountable objection to the deal. Ellison contends that MySQL does not compete directly with his company's high-margin databases, but a large number of people working in relevant fields disagree.

On Jan. 13, an international consulting company, UBS, predicted that Oracle would lay off half-or about 14,000-of Sun's staff when the deal is approved.

Sun responded a day later with a memo to all employees saying Oracle will rely heavily on the skills of Sun's workers and in fact is not planning to lay off that many employees.

"Oracle has asked me to assure Sun employees that this report [by UBS] is absolutely untrue," Brian Sutphin, executive vice president of corporate development and alliances at Sun, wrote in the memo.

Antitrust regulators in Russia also are balking at approving the transaction, preferring to wait until the EC goes public with its declaration.

eWEEK will have full details when a decision on the acquisition is finally made public.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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