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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun 334

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.
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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

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  • I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:41PM (#30051958)
    Oracle is marketed as an high-end database product/set of services. MySql is a low-end one (and please, don't misinterpret this as shot against it). Now, I'm not saying that you won't find companies replacing their Oracle database with a MySql one, but those are very few and far between. Between Oracle and MySql, there are actually quite of slew of decent alternatives (both proprietary and open source).
  • by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @05:45PM (#30052018)

    As I remember it (and I could be remembering it wrong), Sirrus and XM were allowed to merge because the likelihood of both companies continuing without a merger were essentially nil.

    Would the EU perform a similar analysis on Sun and figure that, given its situation, the option is either merge with Oracle or go bankrupt, in which case the situation is, conceptually, the same because either way Sun ceases to be a player. Or do they not consider this and simply line up the bullet points, see too much overlap, say no to the merger (which is not the same as an objection, I realize), and just hope that Sun can pull it together by itself?

  • by rcolbert ( 1631881 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:01PM (#30052248)
    This is somewhat like preventing Mercedes-Benz from buying Kia in order to prevent a monopoly. As well-stated earlier, Oracle doesn't compete against MySQL often if at all. IBM and Microsoft appear to be the most legitimate competition Oracle has in their DBMS space, and MySQL wouldn't seem to impact the competitive balance all that much. Having said that, who would want MySQL? Cisco, HP, and EMC don't seem like good choices because they all have product families that each would hate to have to tie to a 'Runs Best with MySQL' campaign. Red Hat makes sense from a certain point of view, but I'm not sure they want to diversify into the DBMS space.
  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:03PM (#30052266)

    the option is either merge with Oracle or go bankrupt

    If Sun goes into reorganization or liquidation assets like MySQL would probably be sold off and Oracle would likely be blocked as a buyer of MySQL, so the EC's main objection would be resolved in an acceptable fashion either way. The purpose of government in a competitive free market should be exactly that; prevent anticompetitive behaviour and structures, not support failing companies.

  • A Rep? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theillien ( 984847 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:22PM (#30052566)
    According to the article the last time the EU/EC contravened a takeover was when they denied General Electric's takeover of Honeywell in 2001. I'd hardly call two denials in a decade a reputation for disagreeing with the US on these matters.
  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:23PM (#30052570) Journal

    Car analogy warning!

    The same reason that GM made and sold compacts and even when they wanted everyone to buy uber SUVs: if you won't buy the soccer-mom-battleship, maybe you'll buy their smaller vehicle.

    Even Oracle (in its dark, festering, inner heart-of-hearts) realizes that not every DBMS installation needs Oracle 13qq UnrealMegaApplicationHyperClustering (tm). MySQL is the foot in the door. If you'll buy the GM compact car now, it's more likely you'll buy the GM RoadWhale later when you become a fat exurban bourgeois poseur (like me). It's the American Way(tm)!

  • Re:I disagree (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @06:26PM (#30052624) Homepage Journal

    MySql is a low-end one (and please, don't misinterpret this as shot against it).

    But MySQL is low end. It's about as low end as you can go without using MS Access.

    Is it a shot against it if what you're saying is true?

  • by Hasai ( 131313 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @07:18PM (#30053218)

    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.

    ACK. I've been smelling "turn it into a parking lot" from Day One on this.

  • Re:F the EC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by celle ( 906675 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @02:39PM (#30063450)

    "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?"

        Versus the history of europe over the last hundred years the US definitely does have the high moral ground. The Soviets make a good showing as well. Let's see in europe, military uprisings/WWI, hitler/jews/WWII, political massacres by eastern european dictators, the genocides in the balkans, armenian genocides in turkey, fighting in northern Ireland, and europe's obvious indifference to corruption and suffering in its own back yard until the US steps or gets sucked in to stop it. There's more and this is just the last 100 years. Europe is nowhere near a bunch of angels, changing your name to the EU doesn't erase the past or change current attitudes or behavior.
        How many people have died in the political games/wars/incursions in europe or because of europe? The US and even the Soviet Union would have had a lot of catching up to do. When it comes to morals the EU is in no position to say anything.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN