EU Expands Inquiry|Into Oracle-Sun Deal

      (CN) – European regulators announced Thursday that they were expanding their investigation of software company Oracle’s proposed $7.4 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems. The European Commission’s decision delays the deal, even though the Justice Department had already signed off on merger.

     The commission expressed concerns that the takeover would monopolize the database market, which is now controlled mainly by Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.
     “The Commission has to examine very carefully 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,” said Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s competition commissioner.
     “In particular, the Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover.”
     The commission’s preliminary investigation found that Oracle’s databases and Sun’s MySQL, the leading open-source database, compete directly in many areas of the database market.

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