Eye on Oracle

Dec 4 2009   3:55PM GMT

Oracle reportedly offers compromise to appease the European Commission on MySQL

Ed Scannell Ed Scannell Profile: Ed Scannell

In his eyeball-to-eyeball stare down with the European Commission (EC) over MySQL, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison may have blinked.

Multiple reports today say Ellison is willing to setup a separate entity within the combined Oracle-Sun that would be responsible for operating the MySQL open source database business, as a way to appease the EC and bring to a swift end that organization’s three-month long investigation of the deal.

Reports say Oracle plans to present the proposal to the EC before its scheduled Dec. 10 hearing with that agency in Brussels. At that meeting Oracle is expected to present its case for why its gaining control of MySQL will not create unfair competition in the database market thereby limiting buying choices among European buyers.

Oracle’s decision to initiate a compromise comes as something of a surprise, given the decidedly uncompromising comments Ellison made less than a month ago saying he planned to “vigorously oppose the European Commission’s Statement of Objections,” and he was confident that Oracle would “obtain unconditional clearance of the transaction.”

There were no specifics in the reports detailing exactly how a firewall would be set up between MySQL and the rest of the Oracle-Sun business, particularly Oracle’s proprietary database business. Oracle reportedly however is willing to establish a separate board of directors for the proposed entity overseeing MySQL’s business.

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