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Sun loses $100m a month as EC dithers

Sun Microsystems is losing $100m a month while European regulators dither over whether to allow its $7bn takeover by Oracle, the database firm's chief executive said last night.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told dinner guests at the Churchill Club, one of Silicon Valley's leading speaker forums, that the longer regulators delayed, the more money Sun would lose, Reuters reported.

Sales at Sun have crashed since Oracle agreed to buy the struggling server maker in April. This was due to uncertainty as to whether Oracle could complete the deal. IBM and HP have exploited that uncertainty to win Sun customers.

The famously irascible Ellison, one of the world's richest men, said he expected Europe to clear the deal without reservations. Meanwhile, Sun reported a $147m loss for its latest quarter.

The European regulators are believed to be concerned that the combination of Oracle's database plus Sun's popular mySQL database may limit competition in the database market. They have until 19 January to decide, which means Ellison faces a potential loss in Sun's value of more than $500m.


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