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DOJ Moves To Block Oracle's Bid For PeopleSoft

The Department of Justice, joined by seven states, said Thursday that it would file a civil antitrust lawsuit against Oracle Corp. to block its attempt to acquire PeopleSoft Inc.

"We believe this transaction is anticompetitive -- pure and simple," said Assistant Attorney General R. Hewitt Pate of the Department's Antitrust Division in a statement. "Under any traditional merger analysis this deal substantially lessens competition in an important market."

In deciding to move against Oracle's hostile bid, Pate followed the advice of his staff members who had recommended against the takeover.

In announcing its decision, the Antitrust Division said that the only firms competing in the development and sale of high-function integrated human resource management and financial management services software were Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP.

"Consequently," the division said in a statement, "Oracle and PeopleSoft frequently engage in head-to-head competition during the complicated and lengthy bidding process through which these software solutions are purchased, with customers benefiting from aggressive price discounts and more innovative software as a result."

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