The 2009 document is a cable from Christopher W. Murray, who was then deputy chief of the U.S. Mission to the European Union. The mission is an office meant to maintain diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the E.U.
In the cable, sent to various other federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Murray states that the U.S. wanted to “prevent a divergent outcome” in regards to the DOJ’s and EU’s reviews of the Oracle-Sun merger. The DOJ had approved the merger in August 2009. Two months later, in October, the EU was still examining the merger. The EU’s major concern was that Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL through the Sun merger would quash competition in the database market. According to the cable:
Oracle stated that the (European) Commission is pressuring it to divest MySQL as a condition for approval of the merger. Oracle claims such a divestiture will destroy the merger for two reasons: 1) Oracle’s business case for the merger depends on keeping MySQL to make the merger economically viable, since Oracle plans to expand the market for MySQL and its associated support contracts; and (2) Oracle would be forced to take a huge accounting loss if it sold MySQL, since it believes that Sun overpaid in paying nearly $1 billion for MySQL in 2008, and it would only be able to sell it for a fraction of this sum.
As a result:
DOJ/Antitrust views this matter as a high priority. Its senior officials and investigative staff are currently engaging productively and intensely with their (EU) counterparts, and are in close touch with Oracle and Sun, in the hopes of preventing a divergent outcome.
It appears from the summary of the cable that the feds had self-interest involved, mainly because of the potential of job losses or gains depending on whether the merger went through, and also the DOJ’s desire to have its merger approvals not contradicted by another global agency.
Oracle says it is unwilling or unable to make certain divestitures to satisfy the Commission’s concerns, and that merger failure will cause Sun to go bankrupt. Sun announced October 20 that it is cutting 3000 jobs over the next year, as a result of delays in receiving merger clearance from the Commission.
It’s another question whether Oracle helped pressure the feds into helping their cause. The DOJ likely did not want a merger that it approved failing to go through and then causing further job losses and the bankruptcy of a multibillion dollar company in Sun. Needless to say, three months after this cable went out, the European Commission approved the merger without conditions.]]>
First, the story. The Post cited several unnamed sources who said that if HP’s stock continues to drop, Oracle might pounce on it. HP spinning off its PC business would presumably make it a more attractive takeover target for Oracle, which isn’t interested in the consumer space.
But what else is there? Oracle has shown that it’s not interested in the low-margin x86 server business. HP sells more low-margin x86 servers than anyone. Oracle is interested in high-margin big-box servers. HP recently announced that its Itanium-based server sales – which are its big-box servers – are suffering, at least in part due to Oracle’s decision to no longer support Oracle software on Itanium servers.
Would Oracle be interested in HP’s enterprise software? Probably, but there would be a lot of duplication, as Oracle already sells plenty of its own enterprise software.
Maybe Oracle would just be interested in capturing HP customers and pulling them into Oracle support contracts, which make up a large chunk of Oracle’s revenue. But I just can’t imagine that there would be enough there to offset having to buy a huge low-margin server business, a decreasing Unix server business and a somewhat duplicative software business to go with it.]]>
When Google developed the Android platform, it copied a lot of the Java APIs that Sun – now Oracle – had developed. Google is arguing that those APIs aren’t protected under copyright law, and therefore that the judge should dismiss the lawsuit. In a document that filed on Saturday, Oracle argues otherwise. According to the Oracle motion:
Over a period of many months, Google employees and contractors sat down and duplicated, line by line, the specifications for Oracle’s application programming interfaces (“APIs”) for Java. When they were finished, they had reproduced specifications for 37 APIs from Java’s core libraries that were identical, or nearly identical to Oracle’s, and they had copied those specifications into Android code.
Oracle adds this as well: “Google, in fact, claims copyright protection for its own APIs.”
If the above line is true, it would expose the hypocrisy of Google saying that APIs aren’t copyrightable and yet trying to legally protect its own APIs.
For a more thorough examination of Google’s motion for dismissal and Oracle’s opposition, check out Florian Mueller’s great rundown of Oracle defending the APIs. You can also take a look at the Oracle motion for yourself.]]>
The eight-core processor is scheduled to be released sometime this year, with the scuttlebutt going around that Oracle will reveal it at OpenWorld in October. The presentation, scheduled for Friday, is called “T-4: A Highly Threaded, Server-on-a-Chip with Native Support for Heterogeneous Computing.”
T-4 servers are slated to ship this year, and there was a call-out in June by Oracle to end users interested in testing them:
Development of the SPARC T4 server is well underway and represents the next major milestone in the five-year roadmap Oracle has laid out for releasing new innovations for the SPARC platform. Oracle’s T4 server is a breakthrough product, providing single thread capability to enable optimized performance for a wider range of enterprise applications.
The new systems use “critical thread API”, or the ability of the Solaris operating system to recognize critical threads in applications and assign them, by themselves, to a single processor core. This allows the critical threads to run at the very highest performance levels without competing with other less critical threads. This delivers faster overall performance by accelerating the more critical components in threaded applications.
In a Q&A on Oracle’s website, the company’s VP of hardware development gave some more information on Sparc T-4 features:
We wanted to get more single thread performance into the SPARC T-series systems sooner rather than later. So we developed a new core for the SPARC T4 that brings together the combination of throughput performance through threading as well as really high-speed single thread performance. It’s really breakthrough technology for us. Referring back to the timeline for development that we have, we developed that core and that technology back in 2006/2007 and we’ll be delivering that to the market in 2011.