Commission may block Oracle-Sun deal

Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: European regulators are reportedly raising objections to a big American merger. The deal between Oracle and Sun Microsystems has already been cleared in the U.S. But as Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports from London, things are much less certain across the pond.


Stephen Beard: Europe's Competition Commissioner has been mulling over the $7.4-billion deal for months. Press reports here suggest a decision is imminent -- and that it will be negative. The commissioner is apparently concerned that by taking over Sun, Oracle will acquire the open source database company MySQL. The regulator seems to fear that Oracle might be tempted to sideline MySQL and promote its own database software.

The chances of the commissioner actually blocking the deal seem remote. The last time that happened with an American merger was in 2001 -- with General Electric's proposed purchase of Honeywell. And it caused an almighty trans-Atlantic row.

But the European Commission could block this deal. Oracle may be forced to make concessions if it wants the merger to go ahead.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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