Report: DOJ Readies Antitrust Case Against Oracle

UPDATED: Newspaper says Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft is getting closer scrutiny from feds.

A report published Thursday suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice is readying its antitrust suit against Oracle Corp. stemming from the companys bid to take over ERP rival PeopleSoft Inc.

The report, published in USA Today this morning, cites attorneys close to the deal that have cited moves within the DOJ that signal its readiness to file suit against Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif.

In June Oracle lobbed a $7.3 billion takeover bid at enterprise resource planning software maker PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif. The DOJ initially looked into the deal and later in the summer made a second request for information from Oracle.

Since that second request, DOJ attorneys have been interviewing current and potential PeopleSoft customers—evidence of a future trial, according to the newspaper report.


A DOJ spokeswoman in Washington confirmed that the investigation is ongoing but declined to comment on the Justice departments next moves, citing the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act that stipulates confidentiality.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is also facing scrutiny from the European Union and a majority of States Attorneys General. Texas is reportedly leading the 38-state working group that is currently investigating the antitrust issues of the proposed acquisition. Whats interesting about the States investigation is that at least 15 of the 38 states have interests as both consumer protectors and consumers themselves of PeopleSofts e-business software.

Its unclear whether the states would wait until a ruling from the DOJ before taking action. A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbots office declined to comment on the working groups actions regarding Oracle, but did confirm that Texas is continuing to monitor the transaction.

PeopleSoft, which is suing Oracle in California state courts to stop the hostile takeover, declined to comment on the report.

Editors note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include verification from the DOJ and the Texas Attorney Generals office.

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