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Sun-Oracle Deal Getting Probed by the EU

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

The European Union today announced that it will launch an investigation into Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle announced its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in the second half of April. Approved by shareholders in July and the Department of Justice in August, the EU was to be the last to sign off on the deal. However, the New York Times reports that the European Union's competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, has said the deal could restrict competition in the already “highly concentrated” market for databases. Kroes today announced that the EU would be investigating the $7.4 billion deal.

Kroes said EU regulators must very carefully examine the effects on competition in Europe when "the world’s leading proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open-source database company,” and went on to say that the investigation would examine whether customers of the two technology giants “would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover.”

Do you think Oracle's acquisition of Sun represents some genuine antitrust concerns? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    geminireaper , September 3, 2009 8:33 PM
    Im so sick of the EU and then sticking there nose in American company business. They are funding the EUs failing economy with US dollars from our companies. I say all our companies to pull out of the EU and laugh as it collapses in on itself.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2009 5:16 PM
    I'm wary of the loss of openoffice and free jre and jdk software I rely on.
  • 4 Hide
    alikum , September 3, 2009 5:21 PM
    Unless EU imposes a strict rule, we may see an end to the free MySQL.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2009 5:26 PM
    I hadn't thought about it before, but the EU has an excellent point. Sun has given quite a bit back to the open source community, I'm not sure what intentions Oracle has.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2009 5:28 PM
    Wow, the EU sure likes to do some good ol' probing, don't they. Still, I would hate to see this go through if it means the end of free OOffice and mysql.
  • 3 Hide
    webbwbb , September 3, 2009 6:47 PM
    I actually like it. Oracle does offer some expensive software but don't forget that they also offer the free, open-source Berkley database engine. Both companies have some great resources and I would love to see how Oracle could optimize the Sun offerings.
  • 5 Hide
    Montezuma , September 3, 2009 7:40 PM
    Members of the EU would probe their own mothers if they thought it would net them a quick dime.
  • 0 Hide
    zachary k , September 3, 2009 8:07 PM
    when did the EU turn into world police?
  • 2 Hide
    sceen311 , September 3, 2009 8:10 PM
    getting probed is never fun : (
  • 11 Hide
    geminireaper , September 3, 2009 8:33 PM
    Im so sick of the EU and then sticking there nose in American company business. They are funding the EUs failing economy with US dollars from our companies. I say all our companies to pull out of the EU and laugh as it collapses in on itself.
  • 9 Hide
    falchard , September 3, 2009 8:34 PM
    I think the best option is to stop doing business in the EU. Too much regulation and countries trying to take all your money.
  • 7 Hide
    hellwig , September 3, 2009 8:53 PM
    Really, why do any foreign companies do business in the EU? Let the EU function without American products, see how quickly they fall from being #2 on the global economy scale.

    Some European software is good, I use both Opera and Nero Burning ROM. I liked Serious Sam (though Croatia has yet to be allowed into the EU). At the same time, I don't know of any European OSs or Database programs, so I don't know what solution the EU proposes. You can't sue for damages when you have nothing to be damaged, and the EU shouldn't be able to regulate American companies when they don't even have any of their own in competition.
  • -3 Hide
    Aragorn , September 3, 2009 8:56 PM
    I agree with Falchard, however I also believe that the EU is for once correct. I thought the deal was bad for consumers, corporations that use suns systems, and open source from the start. Oracle is doing only to get rid of any competition from MySQL, they even said that they were buying the company to control the software and were hoping to sell off the hardware ASAP
  • -2 Hide
    nitto555rchallenger , September 3, 2009 9:15 PM
    I usually think the EU is out to against every American corporation out there, for example when they said Microsoft can't ship IE with Windows. BUT the EU is right this time, there isn't that many big named companies that make database software, well good database software anyways. So this would be a controlling database monopoly over competitors.

    aside joke: For everyone in EU, this is why you'll never see price cuts for Xbox, because the EU would then say you can't ship the system with Xbox Live since other consoles aren't up to par yet.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2009 9:17 PM
    hellwig: what are you smoking? The EU is much healthier economically that the US is right now, we aren't exactly an island unto ourselves, unless you consider China and Mexico to be part of the island. Atleast they have the balls to regulate business, unlike the US congress, who just accept bribes... I mean "campaign contributions" in exchange for NOT regulating business. Our congress won't reign in the crooked, price gouging health insurance companies, even though it's creating a humanitarian crisis. Regulating big business is a GOOD thing, remember that...
  • -2 Hide
    newbie_mcnoob , September 3, 2009 9:41 PM
    If the EU really wants a company to harass they should turn their attention toward Cisco Systems.
  • 6 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 3, 2009 10:16 PM
    When EU announces a probe, it pretty much means that they're guilty and should be looking at a fine anywhere from $1billion to infinity.

    In other words, EU is seizing every cash cow available.
  • 4 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 3, 2009 10:17 PM
    heaven_toupehellwig: what are you smoking? The EU is much healthier economically that the US is right now


    The $2billion Microsoft bailout helps a lot, believe me.
  • 2 Hide
    deltatux , September 3, 2009 11:02 PM
    Of course this is a concern. There's a risk that Sun Microsystems' open source initiatives would go down the drain.

    I rely on a lot of Sun's open source products to get stuff done (MySQL, OpenOffice.org, Java and sometimes play around with Solaris).

    If Oracle is to shut these projects down, then we might as well be f**k'd.
  • 1 Hide
    Xaake , September 4, 2009 5:58 AM
    hellwigI don't know of any European OSs or Database programs


    Funny you should say this in this thread since MySql is a European (Swedish) program. "MySQL is owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB, now a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems,[4] which holds the copyright to most of the codebase." Wikipedia.

    And while we are at it, how about the Linux kernel, that is actually a European (Finnish) OS kernel.
  • 2 Hide
    SpadeM , September 4, 2009 6:40 AM
    Zachary Kwhen did the EU turn into world police?

    Since America got probed by Internal Affairs.

    And for all of you who are concerned about the cash cow issue, take a look at your own country and the way it's screwing YOU out of YOUR tax money and then worry about a "poor" company that's doing shady business. But I guess this is what blind patriotism is all about. ... sheep
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