IBM sees no competition issues with Oracle's Sun takeover


IBM sees no competition issues with Oracle's Sun takeover

Warwick Ashford

Oracle's planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems does not raise any significant antitrust issues, according to Oracle rival IBM.

Despite objections raised by European competition authorities, the deal is likely to close soon, Steve Mills, head of IBM's software division told the Financial Times.

Oracle is to present its case in a two-day hearing before European regulators starting 10 December.

The European Commission has delayed approval of the $7.4bn deal because of concerns that the combination of Sun's MySQL database product and Oracle's products could harm competition in the database market.

But IBM's software chief said MySQL poses little direct challenge to database products from groups such as IBM and Oracle because it is not the most sophisticated database in the marketplace and there are plenty of alternatives.

Mills said if Oracle outlines plans to maintain the open source aspect of MySQL's software, that should resolve the European concerns and lead to the deal closing early next year.

The UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) has told European competition authorities that its membership believes the future of both Java and MySQL will be secure with Oracle.

European competition authorities have recently expressed optimism about reaching a settlement with Oracle.

If the hearings fail to resolve the issue, European authorities have until 27 January to make a final decision on whether or not to allow the deal to go ahead.

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