With a request filed to the Alameda County Court earlier this week, PeopleSoft Inc. is embarking on the first wave of depositions in its suit against Oracle Corp.
Fending off a hostile takeover bid from Oracle launched this past June, PeopleSoft filed suit against Oracle in an effort to remedy what it says is "substantial and ongoing harm" caused by Oracles campaign.
PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., has cited a number of strategies by Oracle that it says are ruinous to its business, including an effort to create uncertainty among PeopleSoft customers, to harm PeopleSofts business by causing the share price to drop and to discontinue support of PeopleSofts software should the takeover prove successful.
In this latest salvo, PeopleSoft requested the California courts approval to interview Oracle executives on the support issues.
The Oracle executives that PeopleSoft expects to depose include Don Klaiss, vice president of manufacturing and distribution products; Mike Rocha, executive vice president of global support services; Steve Miranda, vice president of applications development; John Wookey, senior vice president of applications development; and Joel Summers, vice president of human resource management systems development.
PeopleSoft is asking to conduct the interviews during February and March.
"We are aggressively pursuing all of our claims [against Oracle]," said PeopleSoft spokesman Steve Swasey. "We filed a motion to the court to do some depositions—the first wave of depositions."
An Oracle spokeswoman, in Redwood Shores, Calif., declined to comment on the deposition request.
In August PeopleSoft amended its suit to include specific statements made by Oracle executives—which PeopleSoft cites as evidence of Oracles ill intent.
Its likely that in future depositions PeopleSoft will look to interview additional Oracle executives cited in an amended suit, but not listed in the initial request to the court.
Michael Kelligher, PeopleSofts attorney for the suit, declined to comment on additional depositions.
PeopleSoft is suing for injunctive relief from Oracle, which would include Oracle withdrawing its tender offer and ceasing any written, oral or electronic communications with PeopleSoft customers.
Its next hearing, scheduled for Jan. 27, looks to seal court documents related to the suit.
In the meantime, Oracles tender offer is essentially on hold while both companies await the outcome of antitrust investigations from the Department of Justice and the European Commission, part of the European Union.
The EC has until March 30 to make a decision on its ruling, while the DOJ is expected to announce its decision by the end of the month.