The European Commission has paused its probe of Oracle's hostile, multibillion bid to buy rival Peoplesoft, to gather more information about the notified takeover.
The commission has sent Oracle a request for information, said commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres.
"It is in the company's interests to reply as quickly as possible," she said. The commission was due to conclude the in-depth investigation of the deal by 30 March. No new deadline has been set.
The investigation focuses on enterprise application software used by multinationals in co-ordinating financial planning, human resources, customer relations and supply chain management.
If Oracle and PeopleSoft were to join forces, it would reduce the number of big suppliers of business enterprise software to two from three, leaving Germany's SAP still the largest single supplier.
However, the chances of Oracle succeeding in its attempt to acquire PeopleSoft is increasingly in doubt, as PeopleSoft has pulled out all the stops in efforts to ward off the hostile bid.
These efforts included filing a lawsuit against Oracle, charging that the software company launched its acquisition bid solely to damage PeopleSoft's chances of successfully merging with software company JD Edwards.
Paul Meller writes for IDG News Service