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11 December 2009, 12:43

Oracle accuses European Commission of partiality in assessment of Sun takeover

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US software vendor Oracle has accused the European Commission of partiality in its assessment of the planned takeover of Sun Microsystems. At a private hearing in Brussels yesterday, Oracle accused the Commission of having focused on critical third party opinions on the transaction. The Financial Times reports that many if not most customers who have submitted comments do not share the European Commission's concerns. Oracle accuses the Commission of simply ignoring the views expressed by major customers, including General Electric, Fujitsu and Siemens.

The European Commission expressed concerns about Oracle's agreed takeover of Sun in November and launched a formal investigation. For the Commission, the key concern is that the takeover may reduce the range of products available to customers and increase prices, should Oracle restructure or shut down MySQL. Although MySQL is open source, Sun hold the original copyright and are the key developer and support provider.

The hearing, which started yesterday, will also hear from representatives of SAP and Microsoft. MySQL founder Monty Widenius, who, entirely in line with the Commission's concerns, recently labelled Oracle MySQL's main competitor, is also expected to make a statement.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Oracle yesterday submitted its own customer statements which express the opinion either that the Sun takeover is no problem, or that there are other options should Oracle drop MySQL. Oracle have brought representatives from eight companies with them to back-up their case. The European Commission has until 27th January to reach a decision. According to the Financial Times, the Commission has signalled that it believes its concerns can be overcome by the imposition of certain conditions on Oracle.

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