Gartner analyst slams EC's Oracle-Sun probe


Gartner analyst slams EC's Oracle-Sun probe

Warwick Ashford

The EC's decision to probe Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems because of monopoly concerns is bad news for all stakeholders, says an analyst.

The $7.4bn deal has been cleared by US authorities, but EC competition commissioner Neelie Kroes plans to ensure customers will not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of the acquisition.

Although well meaning, the EC's decision is disappointing and is likely to have a detrimental effect on both Sun and its customers, according to Gartner analyst Andy Butler.

User confidence in Sun's products is going to be further affected and end-users will be unable to move forward until they know what products will continue, which could now be delayed another four months, he said.

The EC has until January 2010 to wrap up its investigation of the proposed acquisition and to make a decision on whether to give it the go-ahead or not.

Butler dismissed EC concerns that the acquisition could be anti-competitive because Oracle databases and Sun's MySQL compete directly in many parts of the market.

MySQL represents less than half a percent of the commercial database market, which includes many competitors to Oracle such as Microsoft, IBM, Teradata and Sybase, he said.

According to Butler, the only winners as a result of the EC investigation will be companies like IBM and HP.

"They can now be even more aggressive about targeting Sun's install base and take advantage of the fact that they will represent a safer investment strategy for new projects," he said.

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