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Nov 10 2009   12:53PM GMT

EC to Oracle: Not so fast!

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Well, European regulators are definitely not loving the Oracle-Sun deal. And yesterday the European Commission objected to it formally, stating that Oracle ownership of MySQL as well as its own database franchise hurts competition in the database market.

The EC’s antitrust body opened the inquiry into Oracle’s proposed buyout of Sun in March and had till January to issue its findings.

Oracle posted a response to the EC’s objection late Monday:

 
“The transaction does not threaten to reduce competition in the slightest, including in the database market. 

The Commission’s Statement of Objections reveals a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics. It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MySQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone.  That is the whole point of open source. 

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”

 

Sun issued a similar statement that added that  any final decision by the commission is subject to appeal appeal to the European Court of First Instance.

Oracle has shown no desire to spin off MySQL, a move that would placate the Europeans.

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