Oracle Releases Witness List in DOJ Antitrust Case

 
 
By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-05-18
 
 
 

Oracle Releases Witness List in DOJ Antitrust Case


Oracle Corp. on Tuesday released the witness list it filed earlier in the day with the U.S. District Court in the U.S. Department of Justices antitrust case against Oracles hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft Inc.

The list, which consists of 25 names, includes PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway, whose testimony Oracle estimates will consume a whopping 6 hours of court time—far and away the longest time allotted to Oracles witnesses. Conway will appear in slot No. 20.

Oracle has unsweetened its offer for PeopleSoft by $5/share. Click here to read more.

In a letter to the court, Oracle said that Conway will be called upon to talk about FMS (Financial Management System) and HRMS (Human Resources Management System) competitive dynamics; PeopleSofts competition in large enterprise deals; customer alternatives to enterprise resource planning suites; a prior proposal (by Conway himself) to combine Oracle and PeopleSofts respective applications businesses; the sustainability of PeopleSofts current business model; and PeopleSofts opposition to the acquisition, which Oracle launched last June.

Other industry heavyweights whom Oracle will bring before Judge Vaughn R. Walker include Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive in charge of IBMs $14 billion software business. Mills will be called upon as the 17th witness to testify on IBMs database, application, integration layer, and stack positioning and strategies. Oracle estimates his testimony will take 1.5 hours.

Click here for commentary on why Oracles offer-cutting signals the end of its bid for PeopleSoft.

Oracle will also call on seven of its own employees, culminating with Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison in slot No. 24. Ellison will testify regarding the purpose of the acquisition and how the acquisition relates to competition with IBM, Microsoft Corp. and others. Ellison is slated for a concise, one-hour talk.

Next page: Oracle calls upon its own.

Oracle calls upon its


own"> The other Oracle employees who will testify include Kevin Fitzgerald, who will testify about federal, state and local government procurement dynamics; competition; and recent procurements and results. Lisa Pope will weigh in on commercial procurement dynamics, competition and use of mixed-vendor applications solutions. Bob Greene will testify about the HRMS market, procurement dynamics and functional comparisons of HRMS products. Keith Block will testify on Oracle pricing procedures and strategies and on the feasibility of price-discrimination strategies proposed by the plaintiffs—i.e., the DoJ and the states that signed on to the lawsuit.

Oracle President Safra Catz will testify about Oracle pricing procedures and strategies; the feasibility of the plaintiffs proposed price-discrimination strategies; PeopleSofts earlier overtures for a combination with Oracle; the rationale for the proposed acquisition; and the efficiencies that are expected from the transaction.

Oracles Ron Wohl, executive vice president of applications development, will testify about drivers of technology innovation; absence of technological barriers to expansion or repositioning; and technologies that facilitate mixed-vendor applications solutions.

The remaining witnesses represent many of the big names in the industry, including SAP AGs Richard Knowles, Novell Inc.s Debra Anderson, Lawson Software Inc.s John Coughlan, Microsofts Cindy Bates, AMS Donna Morea and Siebel Systems Inc.s David Schmaier.

Also present will be representatives of enterprise users such as Emerson Electric, Fidelity, Bank of America and ADP. Analyst firms will also be represented, including Accenture and Meta Group.

The entire slate of witnesses will be book-ended by two witnesses from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley—Tom Campbell and David Teece—who will give expert economic testimony.

PeopleSoft has dug in its heels and resisted the takeover every step of the way, with the companys board going so far as to craft a so-called "poison pill"—a stock-related maneuver that could cost Oracle billions in money paid through a software assurance plan.

Many, if not most, analysts think that Oracles takeover is doomed at this point. Even Oracle Chief Financial Officer Jeff Henley recently remarked that he thought success was highly improbable.

Still, some see Judge Walker, who will hear the case in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, as something of a wildcard. Walker, a former antitrust attorney at the San Francisco law firm Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, in his most recent antitrust case regarding the sale of the San Francisco Examiner, declined to block the sale. According to SiliconValley.com, Walker at the time accused the Justice Department of practicing "cronyism" in the case.

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