Oracle To Face Competitors At EU Hearing On Sun Acquisition


That could add some dissonant voices to the meeting where Oracle will try to convince the Commission that its acquisition of Sun and the MySQL open-source database isn't anti-competitive.

On the plus side for Oracle, however, European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Tuesday that she is optimistic that the European regulatory body and Oracle can come to an agreement about the MySQL issue to resolve the impasse.

Last month the European Commission, the European Union's regulatory watchdog, issued a "statement of objections" to Oracle's plans to acquire Sun for $7.4 billion.

The Commission is concerned that Oracle might limit future development of MySQL which some see as a competitor to its own flagship database software. The Commission launched an investigation into the matter and has until Jan. 27 to issue a ruling.

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"I'm still optimistic that we can reach a satisfactory outcome and ensure there is no adverse impact on effective competition on European markets," Kroes told a news conference in Brussels, according to news reports published by Dow Jones and Reuters.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has vowed not to give up MySQL, although there have been scattered reports that Oracle and the Commission are trying to come to some kind of agreement. Last week the N.Y. Post reported that Ellison had offered to create a separate entity within Oracle after the Sun acquisition that would, in effect, quarantine MySQL from the rest of Oracle. Oracle has denied that report.

U.S. regulators have approved the Oracle-Sun deal without conditions, leaving EU approval as the only hurdle to the acquisition.