EU Formally Objects to Oracle-Sun Acquisition

Lora Bentley

We knew as early as September that the European Union was concerned about the effect Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems would have on the database market there. But Monday, the EU issued a formal objection to the acquisition and pointed specifically to Oracle obtaining MySQL as the problem.'s James Rogers says , "There has been speculation that a formal statement of objection would allow the European Commission (EC) to flex its muscles, possibly forcing concessions out of Oracle...Oracle, however, is unfazed by the EC's statement..."


Oracle is so unfazed, in fact, that the company has called the EC's objections unfounded and evidence of a "profound misunderstanding" of open source. According to a statement released in response to the objections, Oracle plans to "vigorously oppose" the objections.


And at least one observer thinks the EC's stalling on this issue is harming the market, which is exactly the opposite of what its members want. Brian Gentile, CEO of open source business intelligence specialist Jaspersoft, told me in an e-mail:

At this point, regardless of the ultimate outcome, the EU is hindering the market by moving so slowly. They are neither hastening more competition nor furthering Oracle's business, which is the precise opposite effect of their stated intentions. And in the mean time, Oracle, Sun and MySQL customers are not being served well. I would urge the EU to come to a conclusion much sooner than January.

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