Although IBM has cited competitive grounds for its stance, the company admitted that it generated more income from PeopleSoft enterprise software implementations than it did from Oracle implementations.
The US Department of Justice has sounded out various companies about their views on the takeover. IBM told the Department of Justice it is worried that there would only be three main enterprise software suppliers left in the market: Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.
The size of these firms would make it much harder for smaller players to compete in markets such as enterprise resource planning, said Buell Duncan, IBM's general manager of developer relations.
Duncan confirmed that IBM would not be tempted back to the ERP market after withdrawing about four years ago.
However, Duncan did admit a vested interest. He said many more PeopleSoft customers bought IBM databases and middleware products compared to Oracle customers, and he feared this business would be curtailed if the takeover went ahead.
Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, said Oracle users would be keen to see Oracle strengthen its position and focus on the enterprise software market. He said IBM's stance would be seen as a compliment to Oracle's products.
Miles said, "If PeopleSoft customers need to buy more products from IBM to make their solutions run, that looks good when compared to Oracle."