The European Union's competition commissioner is "optimistic" about reaching a settlement with Oracle over its proposed $7.4bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
The European Commission has issued an official objection to the deal because of concerns that Oracle's acquisition of Sun's open source MySQL database software could reduce competition.
Oracle rejected the claim that MySQL competes with its core database software and said it will "vigorously oppose" the Commission's objections.
Oracle said the objections revealed a "profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics".
But European commissioner for competition Neelie Kroes believes a settlement is still possible. "Let's be optimistic, and let's find out if they could take us to a point that we say, 'Okay, here we can take the result as a satisfying result for fair competition'," she reportedly told journalists.
Kroes said the Commission must study how the transaction affects the EU. "We do have serious complainers, so we have to do our job properly," she said.
The Commission began an investigation into the acquisitions in September after lobbying by Oracle rivals and is scheduled to make a ruling by 19 January 2010.
Oracle can now request a hearing to convince the EU that there are no competition problems. If that fails, Oracle can appeal to the European courts in Luxembourg.