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PeopleSoft and Oracle battle continues

Oracle is hoping that the US government's investigation into its attempted hostile takeover of rival PeopleSoft will be completed by November.

Since June, the database and business applications maker has been trying to purchase PeopleSoft, a move that spawned lawsuits from both companies and even the intervention of the US Department of Justice, which has concerns about possible antitrust issues. 

Oracle has now extended the deadline for its $7.3bn tender offer for PeopleSoft to 19 September from 8 August. 

PeopleSoft also announced that it has widened its complaint against Oracle over unfair trading practices.

PeopleSoft said the complaint alleged that Oracle had worked to disrupt PeopleSoft's relationship with its customers and is planning a "deliberate campaign to mislead PeopleSoft customers about Oracle's plans to support PeopleSoft products". 

The complaint will also apply to JD Edwards' customers, who are now PeopleSoft customers as a result of the closing of that merger. PeopleSoft will also merge their two previously separate lawsuits against Oracle into one. 

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment without having seen the filing," Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said. "We were aware they were going to file an amended complaint, so we are not surprised and it does not change our commitment to acquire PeopleSoft." 

Oracle has also moved to sue PeopleSoft in an effort to force the company to remove the "poison pill" antitakeover provisions. 

Provided that regulatory approval is granted, Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison has said he would wait until next June to try and take over PeopleSoft's board at its annual election. 

Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld


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