EU Antitrust Chief Lashes Out at U.S. Senators in Oracle Deal

Paul Lilly

Make no mistake - Oracle faces a major " uphill battle " if its to convince the European Union to step aside of its planned $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. And recent comments by the EU's antitrust chief has to make you wonder if the Commission might block the deal out of spite.

"Is this really more important than fixing your own health care system," Neelie Kroes, EU competition commissioner, said in a speech, adding that U.S. senators need to straighten out their priorities.

The below-the-belt comments come in response to a group of 59 U.S. senators writing a letter to Kroes last month urging her to speed up the approval for a deal that could cost thousands of American jobs should it fall through.

But no matter what the senators say, the EU seems to have a tough time accepting Oracle's takeover of Sun, and more specifically, the EU remains concerned over what Oracle will do with the open source database company MySQL once it has control, considering Oracle owns its own paid database software. Because of this, the EU worries that Oracle might refuse to license MySQL to some companies or for specific uses in order to push its own paid software.

European regulators have set a January 27 deadline to decide whether or not to approve the deal.

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