It's Official: EU Objects to Oracle-Sun Deal

Paul Lilly

Coming as a surprise to absolutely no one, the European Union on Monday formally objected to Oracle's proposed takeover of Sun. The EU's hard stance could throw a wrench in the $7.4 billion deal that had already been approved by U.S. officials.

The sole sticking point for the EU is that the deal would give Oracle control over Sun's free MySQL database software. Because Oracle sells its own database software, the EU fears the company would purposely hamstring MySQL in order to boost its own sales.

"The Commission's Statement of Objections reveals a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics," Oracle said in response to the objection . "It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MykSQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone. That is the whole point of open source."

Oracle will have an opportunity to respond to the EU's objections before it makes its final ruling on the deal by January 19. Even then, should the EU outright reject the deal, Oracle could file an appeal. The alternative is to back out of acquistion, which would cost Oracle a $260 million breakup fee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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