Skip to main content

EU Could Issue Legal Objection Against Oracle-Sun Deal

Oracle could face legal objection from the European Commission for its proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the Financial Times reported.

Citing a source close to the process, the FT reported that Oracle has refused to offer any sort of concessions, and as a result, prompting European regulators to issue formal objections over the deal.

The issue has somewhat lent a catch-22 situation for the EU’s outgoing competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, as confronting Oracle for its proposed takeover of Sun could lead to a new period of trans-Atlantic tensions over the laws pertaining to antitrust issues.

On the other hand, allowing Oracle to go on with the merger would exhibit weaknesses in the system, particularly after the commissioner attempted to persuade Oracle’s top executives into making concessions.

The situation therefore has prompted some analysts to speculate that the best possible way for Ms Kroes to deal with situation is to convince Oracle to drop its interest in Sun.

The Commission’s concerns over the proposed acquisition of Sun by Oracle essentially centre on the latter’s takeover of MySQL, a widely popular open source database snapped up by Sun back in 2008.

Incidentally, the Commission last prevented a US merger when it disapproved the planned takeover of Honeywell by General Electric in 2001, and it has only blocked 2 of 1,665 such deals struck between 2004 and 2008, the FT report added.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.