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Slow Oracle Merger Leads To Outflow of Sun Projects, Coders

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the bang-but-whimper dept.

Sun Microsystems 409

An anonymous reader writes "Sun Microsystems might have had a chance if the Oracle merger had gone through quickly, but between the DoJ taking its time and the European Commission, which seems to get off on abusing American firms, just plain dragging its feet, that won't happen now. As Sun twists in the wind, unable to defend itself, and Oracle is unable to do anything until the deal closes, IBM is pretty much tearing Sun to shreds. By the time this deal closes, there won't be much left for Oracle. This is not how a Silicon Valley legend should end."

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European Commission SUCKS (-1, Flamebait)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302541)

Sorry, but it really does seem to get off on abusing American firms.

Meh. (-1, Troll)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302583)

It's their own fault for trying to do business over there.

Re:Meh. (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302843)

So, are you saying American businesses are too stupid to avoid bad business situations? You make it sound as if you think of Europe as our enemy, rather than our staunchest allies. I mean, how DARE they provide better health care for less money than we do and make our capitalist health care system look bad? How DARE they get 32 hour work weeks with minimum one month of vacation. Here we are, working our asses off, and we aren't any happier than them for it. The bottom 80% of our society aren't any richer for it, either. That's just not fair, and obviously, they are evil for not fellating their owning class like we do. Why, if they aren't stopped, our peasantry might just get uppity ideas on their heads and start thinking they should get a share in our increase in GDP.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302911)


I mean, how DARE they provide better health care for less money than we do and make our capitalist health care system look bad? How DARE they get 32 hour work weeks with minimum one month of vacation. Here we are, working our asses off, and we aren't any happier than them for it. The bottom 80% of our society aren't any richer for it, either. That's just not fair, and obviously, they are evil for not fellating their owning class like we do. Why, if they aren't stopped, our peasantry might just get uppity ideas on their heads and start thinking they should get a share in our increase in GDP.

Hey! You cribbed that speech from Sean Hannity, didn't you!

Admit it!

Re:Meh. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303129)

Please don't refer to 'Europe' as though the relationship between the EU and member states is akin to the relationship between American states and the federal government. It sends a shiver down my spine and isn't quite true (yet).

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303607)

I give it 30 years, tops.

Re:Meh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303199)

Bad business decisions do not include the merger of two large companies, nor does the hypocritical bias towards American companies.

You're more than welcome to their health care. Go enjoy waiting for it, and a lower quality of care. I greatly prefer our system to that. People have long been comparing our "terrible" capitalist system to free health care in places such as Europe before the current Health Care debate and I have NEVER been impressed by anything they do.

They have 32 hour work weeks in some places, 35 (such as France) in others and then you have places where they are trying to increase it back as their GDP slips due to it. Take a look over here [blogcritics.org] (I googled "france gdp work week [google.com] " and found that article.

I am not in the top 20%, but I am definitely richer for it.

Re:Meh. (3, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303721)

I'll take it [photius.com] . At least if it's France (#1), Italy (#2), Belgium (#21), or really anywhere better than the US (#37). Forget the talk show "rah rah rah U-S-A U-S-A" nonsense. If you think the US health care system is legitimately "the best", tell me by which measure.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303263)

Yes, dammit. And I don't want a government run insurance option, but don't touch my medicare.

I love it because I hate it.

I hate it because I love it.

Re:Meh. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303533)

Happy new years! Me, my wife, her sister, are getting ready for a big old house party. We invited Merril, but this is party might end with gay sex in the hot tub (not that non-gays have to take part) and that makes him a little uncomfortable. Plus, he wants to give the two of us our space, as I was nice enough to let them have the house last night. I went over to my Mom's, too see her and also say goodby to our gay republican native american friend Malcolm, who has been living with her and is kind of her adopted kid, which in his culture is fairly common. It being a matriarchal culture and him being first born male, it is kind of an accepted way for him to get away from his family.

He's moving in with his wife. From what I understand, they met in the army, in Korea. They got married for the pay and tax benefits. I think they really like each other, as friends, but I haven't met her yet. That's an even better way of getting away from your family amongst the Dine or Navajo as we call them. His family are all pretty messed up. His mom is a university professor with a gambling problem, and the rest of them are in and out of jail all the time.

Merril and Jenny and I had a great conversation the other night. We're on the same page. This next phase is the make or break phase, where the infatuation fades and you start to be real with each other. It's definitely more than just sexual between her and Merril at this point. And we are all starting to feel safe to contemplate what the medium and long term might look like.

Merril and I still have a great geek connection. I talked his ear off the other night and then apologized, saying I was in my manic phase and he confided that he's actually bipolar. Ouch. He's on good medication, but I had a friend who was bipolar, and that's serious. Not a deal breaker by any means, especially with modern treatments, but a hard road nonetheless.

I'm quitting smoking tomorrow. It's easy, I've done it a million times. Fortunately, my wife has pretty much already quit, her sister smokes three cigarettes a day, outside, and Merril doesn't smoke except when he's drinking and smokes are around. Me, I'm an addict. I did quit for two years once, and only started because I was around smokers all the time. Wish me strength of will, I'll need it.

Deep breaths. The cravings will pass. Cravings always do, because the present moment provides plenty of other stimuli to engage other seeking-circuits if you just wait. It's a good lesson that doesn't just apply to drugs.

It also applies to sex. I've been trying to be very conscious of my desires there. I'm very sexual, not destructively so, but way more than average. But I don't like feeling desperate. And if I don't get it every day, I feel desperate. I mentioned this to my therapist and said it would be one of my goals to turn it down sometimes between then and the next session. I have, and I don't feel guilty because I know my wife is getting some of the hottest sex she's ever had from Merril.

I came home today and he was still here. I'd specifically invited him to stay fro dinner, but he felt like he was taking advantage. Sadly, he had a dead battery and needed a jump. Unlike Mr. Y., Merril has a moral center telling him what's fair and what isn't.

I have to wrap this up, my lovely wife who is watching me right now has reminded me that we have a party to go to.

Well, things are still going very well with Merrill and Jenny and I. When he and Jenny have problems, he works to resolve them. That's what really matters in a relationship. No one is going to be perfect, and no one can read someone else's mind. But as long as someone is willing to work with you, to communicate, negotiate, and compromise, then the relationship can work.

He's much more comfortable being affectionate, and telling her he loves her. We're starting to think about the future in terms of all of us. He and I still get along great. Quite frankly, we both like a certain amount of alone time, and as much as we love Jenny, it's nice to have days when we can just do whatever we like without a woman hovering over us ;).

Jenny found an article about polyamory in our local weekly, evidently there is a new discussion group here in Albuquerque that meets bi-weekly. We're planning on going. I've found these kinds of groups to be very helpful in the past, as it's comforting to know that we're not total freaks, there are others like us out there. And it helps to talk about issues that happen in polyamory.

- spun [slashdot.org]

Re:European Commission SUCKS (5, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302609)

Perhaps, it's just that the European Commission is just slightly less beholden to corporations than their counterparts in the US.

As far as I can tell their slowness to sign on to other corporatist things coming from the US has been a pretty good thing.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (4, Insightful)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302695)

Nah, if it were just that, they'd have said yes or no by now. It seems they really do like abusing american corps.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302757)

Maybe, just maybe, this is just a bargaining chip in the under-the-table schmoozing between US and EU that you and I will never know about.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (0, Troll)

doug (926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303093)

You mean like the backroom deals that just got the Lockerbie bomber released? Yuck. I understand full well that slimy stuff like this happens, but I don't have to like it. Let the EC vote down the sale if they like, or tack on clauses to ensure whatever it is that they want to ensure because that is what they are paid to do. But to drag things out is just wrong.

To quote Yoda: Do, or don't do. Halfway stuff sucks.

- doug

Re:European Commission SUCKS (4, Funny)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303481)

To quote Yoda: Do, or don't do.

You lose your geek card, please hand it over.

NEVER misquote Yoda.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (2, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302717)

As far as I can tell their slowness to sign on to other corporatist things coming from the US has been a pretty good thing.

Too bad that when it really counted, they bent over and presented their constituents' anuses to have their privacy violated by the US feds.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302929)

Europe likes their corporations just fine (AirBus much?) It's foreign (ie, American) companies that give them a hard-on.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (-1, Troll)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302963)

Perhaps, it's just that the European Commission is just slightly less beholden to corporations than their counterparts in the US.

But they only act that way towards foreign countries. It sounds more like they're trying to screw around other competing companies that way they can increase their GDP. Same reason they love slapping foreign countries with huge anti-trust fines. Gotta promote good 'ol Euro Communism.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303589)

I still don't get what say a foreign "commission" has in the dealings of two American companies. Sure, they can weigh in, but as long as the two parties involved are headquartered/owned/operated here, what obligation do they have to anyone outside of the US? Additionally, couldn't they be jerks about it and say 'Eff You, we just won't operate, sell, or support our products on your side of the world' and be done with it? The RIAA does that all the time by restricting how media is available in foreign countries, why not software itself?

Re:European Commission SUCKS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302703)

WAAAH WAAAH Mommy?

While i think Sun/Oracle wouldn't deserve too much abuse. M$ didn't get enough.
Be a good kid, bring it home and share with your siblings.

Really? Got any evidence? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302713)

Evidence in the form of the number of actions taken against American firms, as opposed to actions taken against European firms would really help make your case. For bonus points, show that American firms don't actually deserve the 'abuse' by committing more crimes than their European counterparts. Without some sort of evidence, your post is simply pro-American, anti-European jingoism. Probably boiling down to either 'Capitalism GOOD, socialism BAD!' or simple flag waving nationalism, rather than any kind of logical thought process.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (1, Troll)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302819)

how about that the fines levied against American companies are extortionist?
$1.5B against Intel for something that wasn't even illegal at the time it was done? Without looking at evidence presented by the defense?
Dragging feet on mergers like this, but having little issue when a EU firm is acquiring tech from an American company (Intel's sell-off of flash to SST, an Italian company).

I could dig more, but at this point it's not worth it as I've already been flagged troll...
-nB

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302925)

Compare that to fines levied against European companies and you will see that there is no difference. You were flagged troll for your content-free angry pro-American karma pandering. You thought you'd get a quick karma boost from anti-socialist, libertarian, and pro-American moderators, which you may yet get if you stop whining and present some actual facts. Cherry-picked anecdotes don't count, give us some figures to back up your butt-hurt position.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (-1, Troll)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303259)

I like how he made an assertion. Then you challenged him to give facts to back it up (since you were assuming he was just talking out of his ass like you are.) But, instead, he bitchslapped you some clear examples that back up his case.

So what is your response? That you don't like his facts and examples and want him to come up with other ones.

Just be a man and admit you got your ass handed to you.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302961)

But $1.5B is in proportion to the fines given to some European companies. (And EU companies are fined by the EU, but it doesn't make the news in the USA.)

(PS Post in ~4 hours when all us Europeans are asleep, and the Americans will mod you up.)

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303053)

$1.5B is only 1% of their net worth. Their actions have probably damaged the consumer market. Anything less and it's like fining a billionaire $100 for running a stop sign. The same issues exists with MS. The US could have put a stop to some of their actions. However, US regulators just turn a blind eye and look at where we are now.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (1, Troll)

zmnatz (1502127) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303111)

By, look at where we are now, you mean making MS include an absolutely retarded browser choosing screen? It's not an anti-competitive to include a browser in your OS it's practically a requirement. Now go off and fine Canonical for including Firefox and Apple for including Safari.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303153)

Where we are now? If you're thinking of the subprime mortgage mess, then you should read up on the banking problems in Iceland and England (that's also where AIG's CDS business was based).

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (4, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303355)

So? The EC fined Telefónica (a spanish telco) with 150 millions. And the fined EON (german) and GDF (french) with 550 millions each one for being a cartel. And the fined 11 european and japanese companies with 750 millions (including 330 millions for siemens, which is german).

And in my opinion, the EC is just doing what EEUU should do but doesn't.

Re:Really? Got any evidence? (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303707)

Okay, maybe a real Spaniard knows this. What does "EEUU" mean. I mean, it's not exactly an acronym for "Estados Unidos".

Re:European Commission SUCKS (4, Informative)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302949)

The US just approved this merger about a week ago. An additional week is certainly no proof of malice. Even if it takes longer, it might be due to more intensive oversight, as the EU seems to simply take the job more seriously.

You could argue that in-depth oversight hurts businesses, but it's a common fallacy here to attribute it to Anti-Americanism, even though there's ample evidence that European and Asian country are often hit just as harshly as American ones. See for example the then-highest cartel fine [glassonweb.com] against countries from Belgium, the UK and Japan.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303429)

Flamebait? Odd. It's possible that the OP is wrong, but it's not like he has no justification for thinking the way he does. I would be surprised if the EU didn't favor, by whatever means they have available, EU companies.

Or does it just reduce down to: EU fined Microsoft, so EU = good?

Re:European Commission SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303535)

Yea, because the US has never abused its geopolitical, economic and often military muscle to stick it to other nations.

Get off your high horse.

Re:European Commission SUCKS (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303599)

Maybe, but on the other hand, what would you think if it was the opposite situation with major European firms going into a merger that could have a major impact on the US?

At least other major actors should see this as a warning that it may take a lot more time to get to the raisins in the cake than they think. And when they do the raisins has turned moldy.

Why should America be above the law? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302579)

"the European Commission, which seems to get off on abusing American firms"

Kind of like how the USA seems to "get off" on taking down middle eastern fundamentalists and strong men.

FUD article (5, Insightful)

hexghost (444585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302581)

Stupid article - so three coders (JRuby team) quit, and Sun's losing in sales to IBM (which they were doing anyway before the merger).

Re:FUD article (4, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303123)

Over the past year we've been looking at enterprise level database platforms. PostgreSQL served us well in development and initial stages of production. Initial consideration was given to SUN, IBM, and Teradata. But it was clear a year ago that SUN's days were numbered. After they started talks with IBM we didn't give SUN much thought after that. Also they lacked a true enterprise level database (sorry MySQL fans, but NDBCLUSTER is still horribly buggy and what we need goes beyond Master/salve replication) & hardware platform and we wanted both from the same vender. Sorry, but I've been in the "It's a hardware problem, no it's a software problem" disputes between venders too many times.

I know a lot of other businesses who thought the same way once the talks were underway with IBM. Why buy a platform that you don't the future of 6 months from now?

Which is sort of sad. I worked around Sun machines 12 years ago. We had a few boxes that were from the 1980's running Solaris 2 (or 3 I can't remember now) that were STILL supported. Something went wrong, they sent in the old grey beards to fix it. Same with applications. We had a certified app that broke in Solaris 8 or 9 and Sun sent a team of engineers to help us fix it.

Re:FUD article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303361)

Also they lacked a true enterprise level database

Oracle + Sun is the the enterprise database. Before they were basically the same company, but now they are.

Re:FUD article (2, Interesting)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303249)

Agreed! The fact is that if this were two oil companies they would have merged by now. Yes, our government is filled with useless, money grubbing, assholes who don't understand anything unless it's fed to them by someone with a large $$ check.
        More to the point; IBM is not "tearing apart Sun". IBM's offerings with their overpriced hardward, ancient lineage and tired AIX (how about a free x86 version, IBM? no, then fuck off!) are yesterday's news. Their role as a supercomputer designer is well played, as is their service offerings with their IBM/GS groups. Not that I would ever want to work for that outfit ever again. I digress. After that, I have a hard time figuring out why anyone would favor IBM's LPARs over the much more efficient, and easier to manager Solaris 10 Zone offering. One that works equally well in the SPARC or x86 version of Solaris 10. No one else comes close to that. Don't get me started on HP... Sun Solaris is a great OS and will be here for quite some time, Oracle, HP or otherwise. Ever heard of ZFS or DTrace? Thought so. Anyone would do well to get to know the Solaris 10 Zones and Solaris 10 in general.
        I will disclose that I am a three-time ex-Sun employee/contractor who has also seen inside the belly of IBM. Solaris will bury AIX. And you can take *that* to the SAN and store it!

Re:FUD article (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303601)

You discuss hardware and software.

Perhaps you are unaware that IBM is primarily a services company nowadays?

The hardware and software is a tool to sell services.

You know that's where Oracle is aiming for growth too, right?

For all the advantages you see for Solaris over its competition, IBM's service offering is miles ahead of Oracle right now...

Re:FUD article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303617)

Do you seriously think anyone other than few old-timers and hobbyists would be interested in an openAIX/86?

Who are you trying to kid?

at least nothing of value was lost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29302597)

Sun has been irrelevant... oh since the .com crash.

relevance (4, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302855)

Both dTrace and ZFS represent substantial contributions to the state of the art in the operating system world.

Not news, is it? (4, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302599)

When a company is taken over, the corporate "feel" usually suffers. I have seen a few companies that were taken over from the inside (I experienced the take-over itself in one occasion), and the employers were never happy with it. And as always, the best people have the best chances, so they leave first...

Re:Not news, is it? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302741)

I've been through 3 M&As they are _NOT_ fun.
However, there is a period of time in each one where you can better your situation appreciably as long as you approach the situation properly (how this is I hold as a trade secret).

So far I quit one job as a result of merger, bettered my situation as a result of the second (quite well), and then for the third I was cut and re-hired ?!? by the parent company, all without separating my employment with them (new, better yet, job though).

No, they are not fun (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303021)

While I agree that a dragging take-over procedure can be very bad as well, I merely wanted to say that there are more factors that make a take-over unsuccessful. I have been in two companies that bled completely dry in a few months because of a takeover.

In one company, even upper management was not involved in the sale and learned only afterwards from it. The owner had done it completely by surprise.

In another company, the new owner was a competitor that merely wanted to get rid of a competing firm. We called our company "The Big Brother House". because every week somebody was leaving.

I worked (as a temp) at Fokker when the announcement was made that it would be sold to DASA and I cannot say I saw even one happy reaction. My contract ended before the take-over really took place though.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302657)

This is not how a Silicon Valley legend should end.

How should they end?

Spectacular bankruptcy like Enron?

Seems like most in silicon valley do a slow fade into oblivion and are eventually acquired for peanuts and never heard from again. 3DO, Transmeta, Borland, Quarterdeck, SGI, etc...

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302737)

How should they end?

#shutdown -h now

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302763)

That wouldn't end a sun box

shutdown -i5 -g0 -y

Re:Huh? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303041)

killall would (I'm told) end a Sun box.

(According to a sysadmin who walked past my screen at uni and saw me typing "killall firefox" on GNU/Linux, and made me promise to use "pkill firefox" from then on.)

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Doc Hopper (59070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303195)

"sync; sync; halt" works for immediate stoppage at minimal risk to your filesystem compared to many other options.

Or just "stop-A", "sync", and leave it hanging at the OK prompt forever :) This has the benefit of a subsequent tech being able to power up again remotely, which just pulling the power cord wouldn't...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303459)

I just hit it with a heavy object until it stops.

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303463)

That wouldn't end a sun box

It will if the Sun box is running Linux :D

But my post would have been funnier with the Solaris syntax. For my oversight I should be spanked by Jen from The IT Crowd.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

jarbrewer (1254662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303415)

stop-A

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302835)

Normally, silicon valley companies end like this:
  • As the company grows, management makes engineering work on boring projects and support issues
  • The top-tier engineers jump ship to newer, smaller companies for more interesting work
  • The company limps along for a while with second-tier engineering
  • The shell of the former company fades into oblivion and/or is bought out
  • The new, exciting companies everyone went to become larger and more successful than the original

For example, SGI may have died, but nVidia and Mozilla (to name only two) are doing quite well, thanks.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303339)

I wish I had mod points today because this is one of the most insightful and simple things I have seen posted on Slashdot.
Engineers need interesting work and great colleagues. Without those things, the great engineers will bail and a vicious downward spiral will begin. This is why I am never surprised when government sponsored information system re-writes spend millions of dollars and never finish (California DMV).

Re:Huh? (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303283)

Quarterdeck Office Systems was based in Santa Monica, CA.

Borland was headquartered in Austin, TX.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303671)

Maybe we can get rid of SCO this way!

Blaming the Govt. Strawman (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302659)

The summary places a lot of blame on regulators. But in fact, the article quotes IBM claiming the announcement of the acquisition is what drove people to IBM; that obviously has nothing to do with subsequent delays. As for talent leaving, the article provides one example of 3 employees who left because they were unsure of Oracle's commitment to their work. However, there is no reason to assume the EU or DOJ have anything to do with this. Oracle could have reassured them at any time, if they knew, and cared, which isn't a very realistic expectation for a small team in a big merger. What is motivating the story submitter to put so much unwarranted blame at the feet of the EU and DOJ?

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (2, Informative)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302687)

Mod parent up. The OP is light on facts and heavy on interpretation. Non-story.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302849)

The government comes into play because they're taking an enormously long time to approve the merger. This allows IBM and its ilk more time than they normally would have to poach customers before Oracle can step in and engage in concrete action to stop the bleeding. So, the government delays do play a role. Yes, Oracle could try (and has tried) to reassure everyone that it will be business as usual with the hardware segment, but until they're able to actually take control of that segment and do something concrete to convince people, the uncertainty remains. Where uncertainty exists, other companies can come in and exploit it.

As for the talent leaving, that happens in any merger because, once again, people hate uncertainty. If someone is facing a lot of uncertainty in his job, and has the ability to go elsewhere, he will probably do so. Ironically, the people most likely to move on are often the ones that would have been the most likely to be kept by the new company anyway, since they tend to be the top talent.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303549)

Err, mergers take a long time here, except if you are a big bank. Sorry but they need to make sure it is good for the people (consumers) not the companies. I for one like the EU.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303705)

Yes, the EU is deliberately allowing Sun to atrophy so that IBM can gain! Skanky EU using unfair tactics to benefit European companies.

Wassat? IBM is an American company? No shit eh...

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303023)

Oracle could have reassured them at any time, if they knew, and cared, which isn't a very realistic expectation for a small team in a big merger.

But anyone in that position knows that those assurances aren't worth the air breathed to utter them.

Given today's job market, if you're in an uncertain position, and you get a good offer elsewhere that seems more certain -- you take it.

What happens if the regulators deny the merger application? If you've stuck around, now you're in a lame-duck company and you can see your employer has lost a large portion of your customer base to IBM.

What happens if the merger is accepted? At least now you've got a chance of your employer taking advantage of Oracle's sales & marketing force, etc. That is, if you're not let go as a result of the merger.

In short, employees are leaving Sun because they don't like uncertainty. Never mind the customers leaving Sun for the same reason (amongst other reasons).

The length of time it's taking for the review process is definitely a factor.

That said, I think the review is important, and I hope it's taking so long because of thoroughness, not because of some stupid attempt to hamstring American companies.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303047)

As for talent leaving, the article provides one example of 3 employees who left because they were unsure of Oracle's commitment to their work.

In addition to that example that article also had the most hilarious attempt at making the brain-drain seem significant EVER: "Talent defections are common in acquisitions. Losing the JRuby crew [the three employees in question] isn't quite as bad as losing James Gosling, the creator of Java. He remains firmly with Sun but his departure would be devastating if it did happen."

In other words, "yeah, I know the loss of these guys doesn't seem like a big deal but imagine if someone important left! We're not saying anyone will, and there hasn't been any indication that they might, but imagine what would happen if they did!"

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303193)

The decision by the European Commission to extend its investigation into the deal, worth $7.4 million, is especially sensitive because the U.S. Department of Justice has already approved the merger. Regulators in the United States questioned Oracle's market power in some areas of its business but raised fewer concerns than the Europeans about open-source software.

In announcing the decision, Neelie Kroes, the European Union's competition commissioner, appeared to signal a different approach Thursday, warning that the acquisition could hamper development of an important software product owned by Sun, which specializes in computer hardware. The product, MySQL, is the most widely used corporate database software in the world, and it competes with products produced by Oracle.

...

"Europeans still have a lot more concerns than Americans about companies using strong or dominant positions to create a bottlenecks for competitors in the information and technology sectors," said Peter Alexiadis, a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, who is based in Brussels.

"Any whiff of dominance over different platforms used to deliver information raises particular concerns," he said. "This may in part explain why Europeans, who are used to multiple business traditions, might be less inclined to view Oracleâ(TM)s traditional strengths in databases as not posing competitive concerns."

From E.U. to Review Oracle's Takeover of Sun Microsystems [nytimes.com]

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303223)

What is motivating the story submitter to put so much unwarranted blame at the feet of the EU and DOJ?

Maybe because the story submitter notes an ever-increasing pool of businesses based here in the United States find the EU's practices to be biased, unfair, and anti-competitive, despite the stated purpose of the aforementioned is to prevent those things. Well, that's not actually true anymore, since the phrase "free and undistorted competition" was removed by France during negotiations for the Treaty of Lisbon (basically EU Constitution v2.0). In truth, the EU's economic policy objectives sound more like something out of a fantasy novel -- "One Market to Rule Them All?" I only say it half-jokingly. The European Union never got their constitution ratified, so instead they decided to go for a more modest "treaty": One of the main concessions (and reasons for the lack of ratification by the member states) is because they didn't want companies that were points of national pride (read: monopolies) competing equally -- it would cause them to lose face. But they really, really want to wipe that smug look off those damnable americans what with their "global economic superpower," so they keep making concession after concession. The result looks rather like an angry fruit salad -- a juxtaposition of values, culture, and law that sickens those who look at it too long or too closely.

The fundamental truth of the European Union is this: It's intended to attack the United States' economic dominance. The only thing keeping them from existing on an even footing is the fact that they can't agree on anything! And the Irish-- God bless the Irish. So you get delays like this -- about the only thing the EU can agree on is that americans are a bunch of bastards who don't deserve what they've got (so by god, let's help relieve them of it). Democracy never looked so disorganized.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (3, Interesting)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303377)

The fundamental truth of the European Union is this: It's intended to attack the United States' economic dominance.

lulz. That's true of any union. Go look up "softwood lumber," "corn," and "steel," among many, many (many, many, many) other disputes the US is involved in.

Americans don't seem to realize what a "global economy" truly entails.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303271)

Some people just don't understand that the democratic government is elected by the people to serve there best interests. The government is full of people that are there to look after and take care of everyone. Why should people have to worry about how their lively hood is made when we can take the common means and distribute it evenly and everyone can live in a well to do state.

Remember the government has our best interests in mind.

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303375)

In addition, I had read that the DOJ delivered their opinion well before the deadline they defined. This was perceived to be the american gov't attempting to protect jobs at Sun. Not sure why they're getting any blame?

Re:Blaming the Govt. Strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303523)

> What is motivating the story submitter to put so much unwarranted blame at the feet of the EU and DOJ?

For this case, the EU is, at the very least, not being up front about their concerns. They state that they are worried
about MYSQL.. However, MYSQL is open source, there are multiple companies which commercially support MYSQL,
and there are multiple folks trying to fork MYSQL including the founder. Sun receives revenue from a very small percentage
of folks who use MYSQL. Will RHAT stop including mysql when Oracle completes the purchase? I doubt it. I can't see how the EU can defend their statement. Someone cynical might think they are less concerned about MYSQL, and are trying to hurt Oracle for the benefit of SAP. ;-) Unfortunately, 10s of thousands of people and their families are affected waiting for folks to play politics. (including myself :-( )

He's dead, Jim. (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302733)

This is not how a Silicon Valley legend should end.

Why not? How, exactly, should a Silicon Valley legend end, like Enron did? Nothing lasts forever.

How, exactly, should a Silicon Valley legend end? (3, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302873)

In a cathartic orgy of violence in the third act, in which everyone dies except the narrator, who is finally revealed to be an obscure character who was shown briefly in the second episode and everyone forgot about in the meantime.

Oh, sorry, I was reading TVTropes.

Two different things (3, Interesting)

aafiske (243836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302735)

There seem to be two points in the article and summary. The one that makes sense is that the slowness of the merger is murdering Sun's business. The other is that the slowness is causing people to leave. I doubt the latter is true. People do not want to work for Oracle, fast merge or slow merge.

Re:Two different things (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303075)

The other is that the slowness is causing people to leave. I doubt the latter is true.

Well, I can't speak for anyone else here, but I have to say that the suspense is killing me. Beginning to seriously question whether or not I feel like sticking around for another quarter to find out whether or not the new overlords are interested in what my group is doing.

And then, of course, there's the question of whether or not I want to work for Oracle to begin with. Were I not a wage-slave with mortgage, family, etc. I'd probably be more proactive about making something else happen. As it is, though, I'm just about there anyhow. We're already getting the house ready for sale, polishing up our resumes, reaching out to contacts, etc.

I suppose I'd better click the Post Anonymously box up there, shouldn't I...

Oracle is OK (5, Informative)

Doc Hopper (59070) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303077)

My two cents: It doesn't suck to work at Oracle. Pay is fair and above market, benefits are good, employees are treated fairly, and there are a lot of exciting projects going on to choose from as a techie. If you don't like what you're doing for a living, there are numerous opportunities always available in something more suited to your interest, and telecommuting is encouraged in most "talent" positions, so relocation is largely a non-issue. The employees I work with (admittedly, we're a rack-monkey and operating system nerd crowd) are generally optimistic and excited about the merger.

Yes, as part of the M&A process there have been layoffs from time to time. With the exception of hostile takeovers, they are fairly predictable in advance, severance is decent and fair, the door remains open if you decide to rejoin the company later, and as far as a huge Fortune 500 company goes, it's a really decent place to work. If you work in some of the larger locations there are nice benefits on-site for free or at really reduced prices (gyms, cafeterias, massages, to name a few), and there is a lot of employment flexibility.

Of course there are annoyances like paperwork, lengthy project approval processes, ITIL compliance, SOX compliance, and so forth. Welcome to working for any large company. But to say "People do not want to work for Oracle, fast merge or slow merge" is simply false. By and large, it's a good company to work for, and the low turnover rate and lengthy average employment time amongst extremely talented and well-educated people speaks to overall job satisfaction.

Re:Oracle is OK (3, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303445)

Oracle is beginning it's own long slow decline. The large apps on the internet are all moving away from RDBMS and into scalable key value stores. Oracle will only get to remain in the G&A aspects of those business, not in the front line internet customer apps. Read 'The Innovator's Dilemma', it is happening to Oracle. Get out while you can.

Re:Oracle is OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303641)

You forget that Oracle knows how to market and manage.

And that scares the shit of the mid-level deadwood that dragged Sun down. If you've ever tried to do business with Sun, you know exactly what I mean.

Sun was a company built by engineers, for engineers, with great engineering, and was quite often visionary. But one that could never grasp that the goal of the business was to make money, not burn it, or misplace it, or forget to bill for it, or lose track of it during the semiannual reorganization.

Sure, the top level probably understood the business goals all too well. But the mid-level? The ones you had to deal with day-to-day when trying to actually get something done, bought, sold? Those things that add up to a successful business? Those idiots who lost your purchase order? Or lost track of their subcontractor's hours? (Or who put in that shitty new cost and accounting system last year....)

Well, they're running scared right about now.

Re:Two different things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303281)

Being in a VERY similar situation right now myself (aka becoming a vassal state of another company with a VERY different ideology than the one I currently work for) , I can tell you that the longer the merge takes, the more anxious I get. Luckily, the company I work for has put in place an incentive plan for me to stay because it can. With the sad shape that Sun is in I'm not sure they can create the kinds of incentives they need for their top talent to stay.

People do not want to work for Oracle, fast merge or slow merge.

Yes, yes they do. You might want to change that to "many people at Sun might not want to work for Oracle. But if you're statement were true, I wouldn't have lost my lack of surprise to see yet another Oracle campus while driving to a new (to me) part of the Bay Area. If you're intent is my aforementioned errata of your blanket statement you are still wrong. Right now people are just happy to have jobs. If Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Larry Ellison, and Martha Stewart all joined forces and created Eat You Alive Inc. and bought out my company I would STILL seriously consider working for them at least until the job market got better.

Re:Two different things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303497)

Yes, agree on the first. Nothing like mergers to kill businesses, and a slow one at that! The latter point is also true: if the merger had happened quickly, there won't be any speculation about how Oracle would treat Sun employees ( and hence less likely to lose employees on the grounds of uncertainty). And that is what the author I think is pointing out, and I agree with that.

All said and done, SUN is a Silicon Valley legend, and perhaps not everyone appreciates that anymore.

Well, that at least is good news... (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302841)

Hopefully more projects and coders will leave Sun before they get absorbed into Oracle, the industry's largest pool of promising, stagnating technology.

IBM strategy (2, Insightful)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302893)

So IBM first tried to buy SUN, but then realizes that SUN is losing business anyway and gives up on the offer. This further screws SUN up. SUN stocks fell 22% that day on news of the failed takeover. Now, because of the delay in the Oracle acquisition, IBM is trying to make hay in the sun (pun not intended) by going after as many SUN customers as possible. This is just a ruthless business strategy by IBM. Instead of buying a troubled company and getting their customers, they waited to make their situation worse and then started luring clients away and all this with no money down. Bravo!!

This is a bullshit reason for delaying it (3, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302913)

Citing two sources familiar with the situation, Reuters said that the EC's antitrust concern centers around Oracle getting its hands on Sun's MySQL database. U.S. antitrust officials, who earlier signed off on the deal, made no such concerns about MySQL.

If the EU is actually delaying anything over this, then they're either doing it for political reasons or out of incredible incompetence. MySQL is open source and has already been forked. So what if Oracle gets ahold of the IP behind MySQL?! They cannot close source MariaDB, Drizzle, etc.

Re:This is a bullshit reason for delaying it (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303527)

They cannot close source MariaDB, Drizzle, etc.

Ah, the names. They sure do inspire confidence in the enterprise space, I gotta say.

Company names (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29302917)

Oracle predicted that the sun will shine on. Maybe the oracle is a quack.

What's EC got to do with it? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303063)

I'm just a little confused. How can the European Commission block the merger of two US firms? I can see why the FTC would be an issue, but once the US regulators are happy, how does the EC have *any say* in this at all? This seems like a really screwy thing - what's next - for any two companies to merge, they need the permission of EVERY COUNTRY ON EARTH?

I suppose, what it comes down to is, those two need EC permission to have offices/do business in the EU, right? The way I see it, if this article is right about the delays hurting them that much, just finish the merger when they get US permisssion, and sort out with the Europeans later. EC can't really block the merger of two US companies in the US, and if they want to block them doing business in the EU, even though that would be a huge problem, that's got to be less of a problem than losing all the company's technical talent, right?

Better to ask forgiveness than permission, I think, is the expression.

jruby (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303089)

If all of Sun's JRuby developers left to work for Engine Yard, what possible impact might this have on the JRuby project? Will Sun continue to support JRuby development? Does this decrease the chances of Ruby someday becoming a mainstream part of Java?

Re:jruby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303367)

If all of Sun's JRuby developers left to work for Engine Yard, what possible impact might this have on the JRuby project? Will Sun continue to support JRuby development? Does this decrease the chances of Ruby someday becoming a mainstream part of Java?

Was there ever such a chance?

Of course JRuby will live on - it just won't be that important to Java people (but will remain critical for ruby people)

I'm ahead of the game (1)

eap (91469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303131)

I sold my Sun workstation on CraigsList before this news hit

Huzzah! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29303165)

Die, (Open)Solaris, Die!

Life Cycle (2, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303289)

"This is not how a Silicon Valley legend should end."

I don't know about that...

http://astronomyonline.org/Stars/Images/MassiveStarLifecycle.gif

The only difference here is Sun is now orbiting another star called Oracle which should make things interesting.

So what? (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303349)

"Silicon Valley legend"? Sun made it's fortune by taking BSD Unix and commercializing it, selling it pre-installed on boxes. Sure, most of the enhancements made to PCs over the years appeared years earlier on Sun workstations (e.g. CD-ROM drives, sound cards, and Ethernet), but ever since the rise of Linux as a viable alternative to Unix, Sun has been floundering about looking for a viable business model. Spark CPUs? Give me a break; no matter how good the initial design was, if you don't have the several billion dollars a year Intel is putting into R&D to improve the chips, you're fighting a losing battle. Java? Great idea, but you give it away for free, and never have figured out how to make money off of it. Now they can't compete in hardware with off-the-shelf X86 boxes, and they can't compete in software with Linux (being supported by their rival IBM). In short, they have no real business model and no real reason to continue existence. Oracle is doing them a favor by offering to buy them out. Oracle has been trying for years to sell a database appliance with Oracle preinstalled, but they keep running up against that "can't compete with off-the-shelf X86 boxes" barrier too. Sure, Sun invokes fond nostalgia for many, many Unix nerds, but face it -- it's dead, Jim.

Hey Sun Expert (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303479)

Spark CPUs

Hey Sun Expert! Sparc is spelled with a C, not a K

Just, uh, throwing that out there.

Mergers rarely go well (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303387)

I don't know why big companies keep merging despite the fact that tech mergers rarely seem to be worth it. Is it short-sided greed and ego that keeps driving mergers? Hit-and-run lawyers? Why don't they learn that it's too likely to flop? I don't get it.

Sun is going to lose business anyways (1)

nologin (256407) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303417)

Quoted from the article...

"ISVs were more than willing to work with Sun because they saw Sun as a neutral hardware platform," he said. "But when the Sun platform becomes part of Oracle, and Oracle has a reputation for acquiring companies and replacing the products with Oracle products, then ISVs get nervous. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out."

Ah yes... Oracle has a pretty good reputation of replacing its acquired products... But what is worse (and I have first hand experience as one of those ISVs), is that Oracle likes to leave these acquired products in limbo until the replacements are ready... Support on the old product is virtually non-existent, and migration to the new product (when it actually does come) is like a shot in the dark; then can never give you reliable documentation on how to make the transition and Oracle engineers always insist that it is far easier than it actually is.

I can understand why people would run from Sun products. This is Oracle's first acquisition outside of a software-only company. If a company has to depend on Sun fulfilling their provisioning and support contracts, Oracle's reputation would probably scare away customers that are concerned with potential supplier problems.

Clients are just betting based upon Oracle's reputation with respect to their acquisitions...

Surprised by this on frontpage (1)

apavel (544053) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303435)

Original article dated 31 July (month ago!), has only two facts (about JRuby developers and IBM migration program) and lot more of FUD.

JRuby fate was already discussed on slashdot and there is nothing new on IBM program. Every vendor has these, every vendor offer iniciatives toward purchasing his wares.

OTOH, if IBM really offering 64k$ for single-socket CMT server, then it can be really good purchase for customer, considered that Sun T1000 (1st generation niagara) cost less than $5000.

So
1. Buy one Sun T1000 for $5k
2. Get 64k$ from IBM
3. ???
4. 59 thousand dollars profit :)

Oh, and Sun server outperforms IBM Power [systemnews.com]

SO basically (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303469)

Three ex-sun developers didn't have Oracle kiss their rears and so they left and tried to get a little hype for themselves by saying their former masters are dying. Regardless of whether or not its true, the whole way they tried to get some press is pathetic. If they want to make news, make a product release with cool features.

Forget about the EU - This is Capitalism! (3, Interesting)

djnewman (1318661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303509)

I really think it's Capitalism at its best! If Sun had been minding the business store and its marketing plan had been sucessful it would not be being eaten by wolves today. It's not reasonable to blame the EU or IBM either. The EU is looking out for itself (and European citizenry), and IBM is doing its job by killing off the competition.

This is great. (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#29303691)

Oracle shouldn't be able to merge with Sun for antitrust reasons. Sun's disintegration opens up room for new players in the marketplace. What exactly do you free-market capitalists have a problem with?

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