Anti-trust concerns yet to be abated, says EU

New blow for Oracle?s ?4.5bn Sun buyout

Oracle’s agreed takeover of Sun Microsystems took a big blow today with the EU stating that the acquisition still fails to gratify anti-trust law.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she was disappointed by Oracle’s lack of reasoning that its £4.5 billion Sun buyout would not show a conflict of interests. The EU is investigating whether the deal would hurt competition, leading to higher prices and less choice for consumers.

Kroes is said to be disappointed that Oracle has “failed to produce, despite repeated requests, either hard evidence that there were no competition problems or, alternatively, proposals for a remedy to the competition problems identified by the Commission".

The anti-competition stipulations largely hinge on Oracle’s ownership of Sun’s MySQL database business, if the deal goes ahead. Oracle is adamant that there’s no conflict of interest in the deal, and has pledged that it would not sell off MySQL if the deal seals.

The US Department of Justice has already approved the deal, with the EU’s verdict due in January.

Sun Microsystems, which initially held off a takeover bid from IBM, has said it would cut 3,000 jobs over the next year while the EU decides its verdict. Oracle has said that Sun was losing $100 million each month.

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