EU Throws Spanner Into Oracle’s Attempt To Buy Sun

You might recall that back in April Oracle wanted to get its hands on Sun in the worst way. But that purchase has run into a bit of a problem because the European Union has decided that it doesn’t like the deal. According to the 8K form that Sun filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the EU is objecting for this reason:

“The Statement of Objections sets out the Commission’s preliminary assessment regarding, and is limited to, the combination of Sun’s open source MySQL database product with Oracle’s enterprise database products and its potential negative effects on competition in the market for database products,”

That sucks if you’re Oracle. Needless to say they are not happy about this and issued a press release to let everybody know why they’re ticked:

The database market is intensely competitive with at least eight strong players, including IBM, Microsoft, Sybase and three distinct open source vendors. Oracle and MySQL are very different database products. There is no basis in European law for objecting to a merger of two among eight firms selling differentiated products. Mergers like this occur regularly and have not been prohibited by United States or European regulators in decades.

So what happens now? As usual, lawyers will get involved, this will drag out for some time. But it will get sorted out in the end and the lawyers will become very rich in the process. In other words, it’s business as usual. But the uncertainty that this delay causes won’t be good for Oracle, Sun, or their customers.


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