Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

EC OKs Oracle/PeopleSoft

Oracle Corp.s (Nasdaq: ORCL) attempt to swallow up PeopleSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: PSFT) overcame a major hurdle today when the European Commission gave the hostile takeover bid a green light.

Commission officials said that there was insufficient evidence of competitive harm as a result of a takeover. If Oracle’s bid is successful, the number of big-name enterprise application software vendors would be cut from three to two, the Commission said, with a combined Oracle/PeopleSoft battling it out with German software giant SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP).

Officials also pointed out a number of smaller software vendors who are already competing aggressively with the big three. These include Lawson Software Inc., IFS AB, Intentia (Stockholm: INT B), and QAD Inc.. Coming up on the outside is a familiar name; the Commission said that Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is also winning enterprise business in this space.

The decision will be a boost for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison; Brussels has often been a thorn in the side of U.S. firms such as Microsoft as they attempt to tap the lucrative European software market.

More importantly, the Commission’s go-ahead adds momentum to the takeover bid. Last month a U.S. District Court removed another major obstacle in the takeover’s path, and Oracle recently attempted to dismantle PeopleSoft’s takeover defense in a Delaware court (see Oracle Prevails in Antitrust Lawsuit and Oracle Battles With PeopleSoft).

  • 1