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19 October 2009, 16:33

Monty Widenius asks Oracle to sell MySQL

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Monty Widenius, creator of the free MySQL database and for years chief developer of the namesake company, does not want to see his creation handed over to Oracle. In a press release, he writes that he shares the EU Commission's concerns about Oracle's takeover of MySQL from its present owner Sun.

He said it would be best if Oracle sold MySQL to a "suitable third party" as soon as possible so Sun needn't "suffer much longer". He didn't mention whether his own company, Monty Program AB, is interested in taking over the product. So far, the European Commission has refused to allow Oracle's acquisition of Sun because of concerns about the future of the open source database. The Commission considers MySQL to be in direct competition with Oracle's own database.

Widenius' views contrast those of Marten Mickos, the former CEO of MySQL AB. In a letter to the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, Mickos said that anyway in his view, Oracle isn't able to compromise the market position of MySQL. Sun bought MySQL for around 1 billion US dollars in 2008. Oracle are paying 7.4 billion US dollars for Sun.

Another voice of disagreement with Widenius' position is Carlo Piana, legal counsel for the FSFE , who recently took the position of co-counsel for Oracle in this case. Piana says, in a blog posting from earlier this month, that a sale of Sun assets could lead to Sun patents falling into the hands of trolls, even where Sun had pledged not to assert them. He notes also that the main complainants have come from companies "whose interest collide against the persistence of a competitive pressure coming from Sun" and asks "one could question how true the grounds are to complain of at least one of them, the one which competes directly with MySQL".


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