Oracle, DOJ Trial Scheduled for Early June

Oracle and the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday were handed an early June court date for the continuing legal wrangle concerning Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft.

Oracle Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday were handed a date to appear in court. The pair will buck heads in June over Oracles takeover moves on rival PeopleSoft Inc.

Judge Vaughn Walker of Federal District Court in San Francisco set the court date for the DoJs suit against Oracle Corp for June 7, two weeks prior to the date both parties requested.

And almost a year to the day after Oracle pitched its hostile takeover bid at PeopleSoft Inc.

Eight months from Oracles action, the Justice Department and seven State Attorneys General filed suit against Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., to block the deal. Now the two parties are set to face off in a San Francisco court this summer. The trial is expected to last a month.

Judge Walker also ordered Oracle to hand over its discount forms to the Justice Department.

In case filings earlier this week the Justice Department outlined the forms as being the single most important piece of evidence in the case.

The so-called discounting forms are evidence that in deals where PeopleSoft and SAP AG are present, Oracle discounts its software to have a better shot at winning—and are among the most direct evidence that the presence of PeopleSoft in the market directly affects Oracles software prices and features, according to the Justice Department.

Justice is basing its case on the supposition that there are three major competitors in enterprise deals, Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP AG, and that a combination of two of those companies would be bad news for customers.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read what Oracle had to say about the Department of Justices rationale.

Oracle is looking to refute that by proving that there are a host of additional competitors in the enterprise applications market, including Microsoft Corp., which Oracle points to as a sure threat in the coming future.

Microsoft has reportedly provided a statement to the Justice Department that it has no plans to enter the enterprise software market in the next two years, which could strengthen the Justice Departments case.

SAP has taken the opposite opinion. The Walldorf, Germany-based software giant earlier this week said it would draft a letter to the Justice Department in support of Oracles market view.

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