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JEREMY HOBSON: Software maker SAP will have to pay its arch-rival Oracle Corporation $1.3 billion for stealing corporate secrets. A jury found that an SAP subsidiary had illegally downloaded millions of Oracle’s files off the Internet.
Marketplace’s John Dimsdale joins us now live with more on what this means for the software industry. Good morning John.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Good morning Jeremy.
HOBSON: So, this is one of the largest jury verdicts in history. Let me ask you first, what does it mean for Oracle?
DIMSDALE: It’s much larger than expected. SAP admitted guilt here and they offered to pay over a $100 million to settle the case. But in the trial, Oracle dramatically claimed over $1.5 billion in damages. They called many SAP executives to testify and in the eyes of some analysts tried to humiliate SAP as much as possible.
HOBSON: As we said this is a $1.3 billion verdict. How dos it change the business software industry?
DIMSDALE: Well, that’s about half of SAP’s yearly profits. While it’s a blow to the bottom line, David Mitchell, who’s the senior IT researcher for Ovum in London, says SAP will recover.
DAVID MITCHELL: It could damage their ability to undertake large scale acquisitions in the future. But SAP is still fundamentally a very competitive company and although this will smart I think it’s unlikely to alter the strategic path of SAP in the long term.
Mitchell also says this is a slap at another of Oracle’s competitors. HP had hired SAP’s former CEO, so the verdict is seen as a repudiation of both HP and SAP in favor of Oracle. In any event, there will be an appeal.
HOBSON: Marketplace’s John Dimsdale in Washington.
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