EU regulators reveal merger objections to Oracle

Oracle has received the European Commission's statement of objections regarding its multibillion-dollar takeover attempt of...

Oracle has received the European Commission's statement of objections regarding its multibillion-dollar takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.

The company will now address the issues through its written right of reply and in testimony, said Oracle spokesman Jim Finn.

Oracle did not disclose the substance of the commission's objections and said it would not comment on the matter further. The company is confident that the commission will assess the competition in the market for enterprise applications.

Oracle notified the European antitrust authoritiesin October of its intention to acquire PeopleSoft. A month later the commission said it would launch an in-depth review, highlighting concerns similar to those that have been raised by the US Department of Justice, which is suing Oracle to block the deal.

After an initial, one-month investigation of the proposed merger, the commission said in November that a merger of two of the largest competitors in the enterprise software market merited further analysis, since the number of key players would be reduced from three to two - Oracle and SAP - in certain applications software markets.

The deal has also faced stiff resistance from PeopleSoft's board and from its shareholders, although Oracle has vowed to fight on.

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service

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