Eye on Oracle

Nov 20 2009   5:51PM GMT

The EU grants Oracle another six days to prepare its case on MySQL

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

The European Union (EU) has not been making Oracle’s acquisition of Sun an easy one, putting the “acquisition machine” in quite a different situation than it’s used to.

The deal, which has already been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, came under scrutiny by the EU in September, when European regulators expressed concern over many parts of the takeover, especially Oracle’s pending ownership of Sun’s MySQL open source database.

Then, earlier this month, the European Commission (EC) released a Formal Statement of Objections against the deal. The EC said that Oracle has not yet shown evidence that the deal does not violate European laws regulating unfair competition. Oracle responded with its own statement, which included that the acquisition “does not threaten to reduce competition in the slightest, including the database market,” and the EC’s concerns about MySQL show that they do not understand the idea of open source.

Now, however, it looks like European regulators are giving Oracle something they want — or are they?

Oracle has asked for more time to develop its argument against the EC’s concerns, and the EC announced today that it would extend the deadline of its antitrust review of the deal from Jan. 19 to Jan. 27.

But is an extra six working days really enough time?

That remains to be seen, but it does look like European regulators aren’t the only ones working against Oracle. For example, Florian Mueller, coordinating opposition to Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems and MySQL, sent a note today applauding the news that the EU granted Oracle a delay – but for a different reason than Oracle may have.

“If the EU’s objections were baseless, Oracle wouldn’t need more time now to develop its arguments. The best way Oracle can make use of this extra week is to think really hard about selling MySQL to a suitable third party,” he wrote.

Is there any chance that the EU will approve the deal with so many objections? We’ll now have to wait an extra six days to find out.

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