EC Extends Review of Oracle Takeover Bid

The European Commission announced Monday it will continue the probe into Oracle's proposed $7.3 billion takeover of PeopleSoft.

The European Commission announced Monday it will continue the probe into Oracle Corp.s proposed $7.3 billion takeover of PeopleSoft Inc.

The EC, a division of the European Union, began its investigation earlier this fall and has now determined there is enough interest to warrant a deeper look.

The second phase of the investigation will last four months and focus on the impact of Oracles proposal on the markets for business applications used by multinational companies.

"The initial one-month investigation has shown that the combination of two of the largest competitors in the market merits further analysis especially as the number of key players would be reduced from three to two—Oracle and SAP [AG]—in certain applications software markets," said an EC commissioner in a statement.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., said in a separate statement that it is not surprised by the ECs decision to further its investigation.

"We have said before that we felt a phase-two review would be initiated, so we are not surprised by the European Commissions decision," said Oracle spokesperson Jim Finn. "We are in this for the long haul, and we remain committed to completing our intended acquisition of PeopleSoft."

The EC is not the only governing body looking into the proposed merger. The Department of Justice is also looking into the matter, having entered into its second phase of an investigation in July.

A DOJ spokeswoman said the investigation is currently ongoing, but declined to comment on when a decision will be made to either dismiss the investigation or file an antitrust suit against Oracle.

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