A US court has refused to endorse a $100m (£59m) out-of-court settlement to end insider dealing allegations against Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison.
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Ellison had volunteered to pay the money to charity over five years to settle the claims, while denying any wrongdoing on his part.
But a judge has questioned whether Oracle shareholders should be responsible for the estimated $22.5m legal fees which the case has spawned.
The judge did not reject the proposed settlement outright but ordered a new hearing for 15 November, where further evidence will be brought.
According to a lawsuit brought by a group of shareholders, Ellison benefited from selling almost $900m worth of Oracle stock in 2001, just before the company warned of a profit shortfall.
After the earnings announcement the stock that Ellison had sold was worth just over half of its original value.