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European Commission Greenlights Oracle-Sun Microsystems Deal
Posted By Aruna Viswanatha On January 21, 2010 @ 1:11 pm In Antitrust, News | Comments Disabled
Oracle Corporation announced today that the European Commission has signed off on its $7.4 billion proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
The company said it expects to get approval from Chinese and Russian authorities, and close the deal, “soon.”
The Justice Department cleared the deal last year, but European antitrust regulators held up the proposed acquisition, citing concerns about the potential for the deal to decrease competition in the database software industry.
Critics worried that Oracle might kill off Sun’s open-source software, MySQL, which, they said, was growing into a competitive threat to Oracle’s database products. The European Commission issued a preliminary statement of objections, but Justice Department regulators said they did not have the same concerns.
The differences of opinion led the two competition authorities to exchange tense statements questioning the judgment of the other.
U.S. lawmakers got involved, and sent a letter to the European Commission arguing that Sun was bleeding both money and jobs while it waited for regulatory approval.
After Oracle agreed to maintain  MySQL, the Commission signaled it would approve the deal.
Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division Christine Varney was recused on the Oracle review because she had previously handled work for Sun as a partner at Hogan & Hartson.
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