When Oracle announced last April that it would acquire Sun Microsystems, U.S. regulators dug a little deeper into the details, but in the end gave the deal a thumbs-up. The combination of Oracle's database technoloy with Sun's MySQL open source database does not pose a threat to competition in the U.S. database market, they said.
The European Union, on the other hand, wasn't so easily convinced. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said regulators were concerned that allowing Oracle to sell its own database products and control MySQL, the most popular open source database, would give the company too much control over the database market as a whole in Europe.
Some thought perhaps the European Commission would require Oracle to divest MySQL before the acquisition would be approved, but Thursday, the EU granted unconditional approval, according to Reuters. The approval came after Oracle promised to "to keep the market open for others to make storage engine software" for MySQL and to establish a MySQL customer advisory board.