Oracle Fields More Questions From Feds

The Department of Justice has made a second request for information regarding the proposed acquisition of Siebel Systems.

Oracle Corp. announced Tuesday that it is responding to a second request for information from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding its intended $5.85 billion acquisition of Siebel Systems Inc., which is expected to be complete in early 2006.

The request for information is in compliance with the Hart-Scott Rodino Act, a piece of legislation put in place to ensure that antitrust laws are followed.

While the second request for information seemed to raise few eyebrows, the underlying message is that the Justice Department is keeping a close eye on Oracle as it amasses a collection of technology companies.

The acquisition of Siebel will be Oracles 10th technology buy in the past six months—and its second biggest to date.

/zimages/1/28571.gifOracle updates PeopleSoft enterprise modules. Click here to read more.

Oracles biggest purchase—that of PeopleSoft Inc. for $10.3 billion in January—brought the company head-to-head with the Justice Department in a months-long trial that sought to block the deal. Oracle eventually prevailed.

The Justice Department clearly hasnt forgotten. A department spokeswoman said it will evaluate the information from Oracle and take the next steps accordingly. There is no established timeline for how long Justice can take to reply to Oracles submission of information, nor is it clear exactly what type of information was requested.

Oracle has said in the past that it does not anticipate any regulatory issues with the Siebel acquisition. Siebel primarily develops CRM (customer relationship management) software, although it has recently branched out to add a composite application development platform to its portfolio.

Oracle, the worlds second largest software developer after the acquisition of PeopleSoft—and by default J.D. Edwards & Co., which had been acquired by PeopleSoft—develops both database software and business applications, which include CRM. The company is also making a major play in the composite application development market with its Fusion Middleware stack and accompanying Project Fusion application suite, the latter which is expected in 2007.

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