According to Reuters, U.S. antitrust regulators aren’t giving early clearance on Oracle’s plan to buy Sun Microsystems, due to what Oracle lawyers are calling a narrow, technical matter.
The article hinted that the problem may center around Oracle controlling Sun’s Java technology, which Oracle’s competitors like IBM rely on. But Richard Jones, vice president of data center services at The Burton Group said the way the Java licensing is written, IBM won’t have much trouble.
“And if Oracle starts changing the Java license, they shoot themselves in the foot,” Jones said. “It’s an open field day for Microsoft’s .Net if Oracle screws around with Java licensing.”
According to Jones, the antitrust regulators are taking a harder look at the acquisition because Sun employees rallied some Sun customers to file complaints to antitrust regulators on anti-competitive business practice claims.
“A lot of this has to do with the rumors coming out of Sun,” Jones said. “We’ve heard the advanced research team in StorageTek has been put on hold, and the SPARC design team has been completely canceled. You can imagine that people looking at their livelihood disappearing will take action.
“When the Department of Justice sees something like this, they take a little extra time investigating. But it’s individuals worried about their jobs, not a truly anti-competitive situation,” Jones said. “Until Hewlett-Packard bought the consulting firm EDS, IBM was the only soup-to-nuts IT provider in town. I see this acquisition as an opportunity for more competition.”
For more info, check out Jones’ predictions for Sun’s assets and customers.