European Commission Queries MySQL Companies Over Oracle-Sun Deal
September third. That’s the day the European Commission will determine whether or not to clear Oracle’s planned $5.6 billion merger with Sun Microsystems. And though there would seem, on the face of things, to be no serious antitrust objections to the deal, one never knows.
Oracle had hoped the acquisition would quickly pass muster with U.S. Department of Justice. But in late June the agency extended its review of the deal citing concerns over Java and the way in which it is licensed.
The EC seems to have some concerns as well, particularly over the combined company’s position in the database market. Bjorn Schotte, founder of software developer Mayflower GmbH, claims to have received a lengthy questionnaire from the Commission wondering about how his firm views the proposed merger, particularly its impact on MySQL. The letter reads, in part:
“As our investigation is a rather extensive and complex exercise, we would appreciate if you could send us, if possible, the contact details (company name, address, telephone number+fax+email address of a contact person) of companies that work with MySQL and Open Source products, and who could be willing to assist us in our investigation.
We would then send the questionnaires ourselves so we can more easily keep track of replies and double-check whether they might have already received our requests for information last week.”
Presumably, other firms have received the questionnaire as well. If they should give the EC cause to investigate, it could slow Oracle’s (ORCL) acquisition plans by as much as four months, a disappointment for a company that has repeatedly said it plans to close the Sun (JAVA) merger some time “this summer.”