(CN) – The European Commission is feeling heat from Washington after the EC objected to Oracle’s proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The U.S. Justice Department on Monday called the merger “unlikely to be anticompetitive.”
The commission this month is expected to follow up its preliminary statement of objections with a decision.The Justice Department’s approval adds pressure as the EC moves toward its decision. The EC investigation is believed to be costing Sun about $100 million a month due to uncertainty about its future, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told Forbes magazine.
Oracle has announced layoffs and its stock prices have fallen.
The EC’s objection primarily concerns a popular and free corporate database program called MySQL, owned by Sun.
Oracle has not made a firm commitment to the program and its acquisition of Sun could jeopardize MySQL’s growth, the EC said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Molly Boast said the DOJ approved the merger because “there are many open source and proprietary database competitors,” so consumers would continue to have plenty of choices between well-established database products.
The DOJ also concluded that the developers and users of Sun’s open source database could maintain and improve the software, and support a derivative version of it.
If EC objects to Oracle’s proposal it risks dissension with the United States, but if it gives in the EC would appear weak after failing to convince Oracle executives to make concessions.