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EU launches probe into Oracle Sun merger

Simon Quicke

The EU has started a probe into the merger between Oracle and Sun.

The merger has been cleared by US authorities, but because of concerns over competition in the database market the EU Commission has kicked off an investigation that has until January to make a decision over the tie-up.

There were indications earlier this summer that the EU was not going to give the deal an easy ride.

"The Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover," competition commissioner Neelie Kroes stated.

Preliminary investigations by the EU have raised concerns that Oracle databases and Sun's MySQL compete directly in many parts of the database market and that competition could be hindered if there was a change in the Sun open source offering.

The EU had been expected to clear the deal this week. The delay will not help Sun, which recently posted fourth quarter results that indicated it was suffering a sales drop. The vendor reported losses of $2.2bn for the year.

A version of this story originally appeared on MicroScope.

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