Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Databases Oracle Sun Microsystems

EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun 334

Posted by kdawson
from the bringing-about-the-most-feared-outcome dept.
eldavojohn writes "The EC has presented Oracle and Sun with a statement of objections. Despite the promotion of former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, the statement seems to focus entirely on what many have feared: MySQL vs. Oracle databases. From Sun's 8-K SEC filing: 'The Statement of Objections sets out the Commission's preliminary assessment regarding, and is limited to, the combination of Sun's open source MySQL database product with Oracle's enterprise database products and its potential negative effects on competition in the market for database products.' The EU and the EC are getting a rep for disagreeing with US counterparts." On Monday afternoon the DoJ reiterated its support for the deal. Matthew Aslett has a helpful timeline of the action from the EC.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

Comments Filter:
  • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:38PM (#30051920) Homepage
    Just spin it off, keep a small interest that will prevent the spun-off unit from going rogue, and claim victory.

    I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:39PM (#30051930)

    Let's see...MySQL brings in ~50M a year, Sun is losing 100M a month. Makes no sense why Oracle would want to delay, except for monopolistic reasons.

  • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:43PM (#30051986) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EC [wikipedia.org]

    Effectively, it's the EU.

    Population of EU is about 500 million vs. 308 million for the USA, so the EC is kinda significant.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ash Vince (602485) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:47PM (#30052040) Journal

    Mod parent up, I'm tired of the /. eds assuming i know what every god damned acronym means.

    If I posted this about the acronym "US" you can be damn sure I would mbe modded troll in a heartbeat.

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:57PM (#30052172)

    Mod parent up, I'm tired of the /. eds assuming i know what every god damned acronym means. (Sure I can google it, but usually I just move on)

    That's assuming you get right definition of "EC". Everyone here seems to assume that googling things will give you the correct or relevant answer.

    For example, I googled it and E. Coli doesn't want Oracle in Athens to predict what Apollo will say.

    So there!, "why don't you google it" Nazis!

  • Re:F the EC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by int69h (60728) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:57PM (#30052180)

    Actually they're multinational companies, and Oracle stands to lose a fair chunk of change if they can't do business in EU countries. Not that I agree with this retarded group's findings. The whole "Can't sustain development without being able to sell proprietary licenses" is bunk. Plenty of opensource projects thrive without being able to sell proprietary licenses. Linux springs to mind.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stupendoussteve (891822) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:06PM (#30052322)

    They didn't post EU. If I posted NGA would you automatically know what I was talking about?

  • Re:F the EC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:09PM (#30052358)

    They can and will fine them, just like they fined Microsoft and Intel. You don't pay? Get fined again. Still don't want to pay? Do your business elsewhere and say bye bye to the biggest market in the world.
    If you want to make business within the EU abide you will have to abide to the rules.

  • Re:I disagree (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:11PM (#30052396)

    What about the Berkeley DB [oracle.com] they bought? They'll just need postgresql and sqlite next.

  • Re:F the EC (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... inus threevowels> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:13PM (#30052424) Homepage
    The EC is much better at standing up to badly behaved companies than America.

    Well, standing up to badly behaved American companies.
  • by Znork (31774) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:13PM (#30052434)

    I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

    Frankly, Ellisons refusal to spin it off is the strongest indication that the purpose of acquiring MySQL as part of the deal is anti-competitive. As you say, it's not as if Oracle really needs it, so it shouldn't be this much of an issue.

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:14PM (#30052444)

    IBM may be doing what they can to stir the pot on this. With each delay, Sun's survival is more in question, and more business can be sucked away from Sun by IBM.

    The objection (that Oracle will have "control" of an Open Source product like MySQL) is absolutely absurd. First of all, there is nothing Oracle can do to prevent others from continuing to update and support MySQL under GPL. Many Open Source projects continue under GPL. MySQL has a huge "out of Oracle's reach" GPL effort already.

    Secondly, the database market is dynamic with many new competitors entering the field. MySQL as a relational database faces competition from a host of nonSQL databases whose performance and capacity relational databases cannot match.

    The real problem with the merger is politics for profit and spite. Heaven forbid the EU allows two American companies to merge. The EU likes to keep their own mergers to a minimum .... like with Airbus?

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:15PM (#30052472)

    I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

    Product mix - as the marketing guys call it. MySQL has a market that Oracle doesn't. How many folks use Oracle as their back end for their websites? Now they have products that cover more of the market for RDMSs; which I believe, makes them the leader, but by no means able to control the market as the EC fears.

  • I object (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:17PM (#30052506)

    to the EC controlling so much to Europe. How about we break YOUR asses up to nurture competition.

  • Re:Okay... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:19PM (#30052524)

    No, the current european-american exchange rate is about 1 to 1.5, so you should count each of us as 1.5 person.

    (no seriousness intended)

  • Good Business (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:26PM (#30052622)

    Oracle is pursuing a very good business model with the Sun aquisition.

    1) Eliminate somebody else from buying them, like IBM.
    2) Get all that neat Java stuff
    3) Some hardware engineering but that SPARC stuff really isn't competitive.
    4) Get MySQL and finally kill it by letting it wither. MySQL is probably the biggest threat right now to Oracle's dominance in the database marketplace. My controlling
    it they can drive the software literally into the ground.

    It was a $7B bargain.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:26PM (#30052626) Homepage

    Let's see...MySQL brings in ~50M a year, Sun is losing 100M a month. Makes no sense why Oracle would want to delay, except for monopolistic reasons.

    Last I heard, Oracle doesn't want to delay. It's the European Commission that wants to delay Oracle.

    As for "monopolistic reasons": Between IBM, Microsoft, Teradata, PostgreSQL, etc, how can Oracle possibly be said to have a monopoly on databases?

    You seem to be suggesting that Oracle wants to destroy the market for MySQL. As the largest database vendor in the world, how does it benefit Oracle to destroy any market for databases, however large or small?

    And that's assuming it's even possible for Oracle to do what you suggest. Even if the goal is merely to destroy the market for low-cost databases, I don't see how Oracle could do that. There is no shortage of low-cost (free) alternatives to MySQL -- PostgreSQL, Firebird, SQLite, the list goes on.

    If Oracle doesn't immediately cave in to the European Commission, have you considered the possibility that it might be because Oracle plans to grow the MySQL market, and that even at $100 million/month, it has not yet sacrificed enough profit to make up for all the money it plans to make from MySQL in the coming years?

  • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:33PM (#30052718) Homepage

    What about the Berkeley DB they bought? They'll just need postgresql and sqlite next.

    And how would Oracle "buy" either of those? And why? PostgreSQL is BSD-licensed and SQLite is public domain. Oracle is free to start selling its own version of either package tomorrow, if it felt like it.

  • Re:Good Business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:33PM (#30052722)

    If you think MySQL is any threat to Oracle, then you don't understand anything about the commercial database market.

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:36PM (#30052748) Homepage Journal

    The EU and the EC are getting a rep for disagreeing with US counterparts.

    Generally, in a disagreement there are two parties that disagree with each other. Unless one wants to implicitly express that one side is right and the other wrong, that's the way it should be phrased.

    Quite frankly, given that US "guardians" of the markets have just been caught sleeping at the wheel when they let the financial crisis happen despite experts having warned of the problems for about a decade, it's not as if they had much reputation capital left, do they?

  • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:38PM (#30052762)

    I think Oracle's target market are the web 2.0 cowboys who originally went with MySQL, grew up and realized they needed something more robust, and are currently tied to MySQL because those other alternatives would break their extremely MySQL-specific code. If Oracle can provide a flawless backwards compatibility layer for MySQL, they'd have an edge over the other guys.

  • Re:F the EC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @07:05PM (#30053082) Homepage Journal

    Well, standing up to badly behaved American companies.

    Try some research before you post nationalistic crap like that. The EC has fined european companies in the billions range for violations of anti-corruption laws, does the same anti-trust checks on european companies and so on.

    Wake up. 50 years ago, the US had the moral high ground on the rest of the world, but you can't go downhill forever without losing it.

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @07:08PM (#30053110) Homepage Journal

    As for "monopolistic reasons": Between IBM, Microsoft, Teradata, PostgreSQL, etc, how can Oracle possibly be said to have a monopoly on databases?

    The job of the EC anti-trust commission is to prevent monopolies before they happen, not punish them when they do (the way the Sherman act works in the US). So their fear is not that Oracle would be a monopoly, but that it comes too close to being able to corner the market. You don't need a monopoly for that, just a commanding influence.

  • Re:Good Business (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @07:52PM (#30053596)

    Despite your rant, and despite some truth to some of your observations, there is hope yet. Sun's biggest mistake is that they have been run by children.

    Rock was in process for 15 years and never shipped a part. 600 engineers x 15 years, and you wonder that they were not bankrupt years ago. Off to the side, you had folks at Sun building small, fast, low power servers. The whole Niagara line. They didn't get that much respect from their childish management, but they shipped parts.

    These servers are available today. And Oracle has already pushed Sun to kill Rock. Sans the dead weight, plus a drive to support their own products, Oracle may very well turn the ship around. And if they do, it will be because they make Sun run like a business, and not like some after school club.

    Of course, all of this only drives the point home that the more competitive move is to allow the merger, and do so quickly. If Sun's hardware goes off into the night, exactly who is left producing parts besides Intel and IBM?
     

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @08:35PM (#30054024) Homepage

    Although these companies are primarily based in the US they have some fairly substantial operations in the EU. I don't imagine that they like the idea of moving those, especially if it involves moving them further from a market that they're trying to sell into. Europe probably would miss Oracle and MySQL but Oracle-Sun would probably miss having a presence in an enormous market and would not welcome the costs of moving parts of their operation into the US or to other places outside the EU.

    When they entered the European markets, these companies did so on the understanding that they'd be required to obey European laws. Therefore I don't believe there's anything to criticize that they are now being held up by these laws - they put themselves in the reach of EU jurisdiction in order to profit in the large markets of the Europe Union, now they're living with the consequences. Objecting to the EU's actual reasoning is fair enough but it's not really reasonable to expect that because a company is based in the US it will not encounter different legal situations when it runs significant businesses in other parts of the world.

  • Re:F the EC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laddiebuck (868690) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @10:26PM (#30055154)

    Moral high ground? Would that be after stooping to the level of the USSR in playing third-world countries like pawns -- the CIA coups in Iran or Guatemala in the early fifties? After backstabbing her allies at Suez a few years later? Or after encouraging the Hungarians that same year? Or were you thinking back to the World War -- and the wonderful economic timing of joining it two years late, when her last ally was finally bankrupt?

    Come to think of it, I can't remember any instance where the US had the moral high ground since its revolution. Sure, if you compare it to the Soviet Union, it had the moral high ground, but that's not much of a comparison, is it?

    This isn't a dig at the US, it's a decent country. But far too much of its propaganda is still believed, probably because it's top nation.

  • by mbrod (19122) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @10:43PM (#30055332) Homepage Journal
    I see many people, you included, thinking of this in terms of what MySQL is now. It would be terribly short sighted for every merger and acquisition evaluated by the appropriate regulatory bodies to look at it in that way. They need to look at in terms of what MySQL could grow in to. What MySQL could grow in to is what Oracle would compete with. Which is why Oracle wants to squash it and eat it. EC is right on and will stop this.
  • US v. EU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jhylkema (545853) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @12:08AM (#30056058) Homepage

    The EU and the EC are getting a rep for disagreeing with US counterparts.

    They're getting a rep for doing their jobs, in other words. The same cannot be said for their U.S. counterparts who have assumed the role of the fox guarding the hen house.

  • Re:A Rep? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0x000000 (841725) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @01:14AM (#30056442)

    Why should the US be able to decide what is good for Europe and its consumers? Sun and Oracle have the choice of no longer doing business in Europe at which point the EC won't have anything to do with their merger!

    US regulations suck for consumers, whereas the EC attempts to work for the consumer. That is the reason for the difference, and whether you like it or not that is how it will continue to be done as multi-nationals can't just stop selling in the EU or the US just because one of them is more favourable towards two of them merging.

  • by whitelabrat (469237) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:54AM (#30060180)

    MySQL is open source. Oracle gets branding, not the code. For all intensive purposes Oracle could spin it's own MySQL right now, and call it Oracle MyPL/SQL.

    Bunch a EU whiners.

  • Re:Good Business (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @12:34PM (#30061648)

    Intel and IBM producing parts may very well be the last two in terms of processor technology houses. AMD will be there but they've missed opportunities as well and it's hurt them in the data center market. I think you'll see the Power architecture start to feel pressure too as more x86 multicores come into fruition.

    I was looking forward to Rock but I also have to believe that because it was never on time or delivered there were fundamental design issues that weren't fully understood or disclosed. Niagra was behind too, and in this business your customers are always wanting things to be delivered on time. I was in a few large Sun shops and nothing frustrated upper management more than seeing the next generation hardware pushed off all the while HP and IBM were delivering on their promises.

    That at the crux is why Sun went cheap, innovative technology to be sure. Great Software? Definitely but a lousy company on delivery.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Working...