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Oracle Closes Its Wallet

After stumping up over $11 billion to buy PeopleSoft Inc. and Retek, Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is on a break from M&A activity, CEO Larry Ellison said on the company's earnings call Tuesday night (see Oracle Reports Q3 Results).

Ellison, ever keen to steal a march on rivals IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP), fought an 18-month war of attrition against SAP to win PeopleSoft and this week outbid SAP for retail specialist Retek (see Oracle Takes Control of PeopleSoft and Oracle Acquires Retek).

All this M&A movement has prompted plenty of speculation about who is next on Ellisons shopping list. Industy analysts cite software vendors in lucrative telecom and financial services verticals as possible targets (see What's Next on Oracle's Hit List?).

But Ellison says the firm is now taking a pause to catch its breath: “We don’t envision doing a major acquisition until we've had a couple of quarters under our belt for PeopleSoft."

Safra Catz, Oracle’s co-president and interim CFO, explained that the integration of PeopleSoft is proceeding apace. “We are well on our way and well on track,” she said. “We have completed a large part of the integration and expect to be complete in the next six months.”

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