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EC Formally Objects To Oracle's Purchase of Sun

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the bringing-about-the-most-feared-outcome dept.

Databases 334

eldavojohn writes "The EC has presented Oracle and Sun with a statement of objections. Despite the promotion of former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, the statement seems to focus entirely on what many have feared: MySQL vs. Oracle databases. From Sun's 8-K SEC filing: 'The Statement of Objections sets out the Commission's preliminary assessment regarding, and is limited to, the combination of Sun's open source MySQL database product with Oracle's enterprise database products and its potential negative effects on competition in the market for database products.' The EU and the EC are getting a rep for disagreeing with US counterparts." On Monday afternoon the DoJ reiterated its support for the deal. Matthew Aslett has a helpful timeline of the action from the EC.

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334 comments

I Object! (5, Funny)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051764)

Well, I'd object to their purchasing the sun as well!!

Re:I Object! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052136)

Gee , I wonder who owns that moon?

Re:I Object! (-1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052336)

That's no moon... ... It's my big fat butt!

Re:I Object! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052412)

Well, at least that explains why there are hundreds of penises stuck into it.

Re:I Object! (1)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052742)

That's no moon... ... That's a BATTLE STATION!

Re:I Object! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052650)

God bless slashdot. Anywhere else I would be feeling stupid and immature for reading that and thinking immediately of that joke. On slashdot? It's the first post.

Re:I Object! (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052708)

Sun, not Sol.

Okay... (1, Troll)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051796)

The EC is.. who now?

Re:Okay... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051828)

European Commies

Re:Okay... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051880)

The EC is.. who now?

EC is European Commission http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commission [wikipedia.org]

Re:Okay... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052980)

Btw, can anyone tell me how it would hurt competition if Oracle buys up the suckiest branch of MySQL?

Re:Okay... (0, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051886)

Go back to digg, slashdot does not need more folks who can't even use google.

Re:Okay... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052048)

[RedNeck]

  That der Digger better get off my slashdot before I shoots him with my shots guns. Damn Diggers! Nothing but a filthy digger.

    [/RedNeck]

Mod parent up (0, Troll)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051966)

Mod parent up, I'm tired of the /. eds assuming i know what every god damned acronym means. (Sure I can google it, but usually I just move on)

Re:Mod parent up (1, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052040)

Mod parent up, I'm tired of the /. eds assuming i know what every god damned acronym means.

If I posted this about the acronym "US" you can be damn sure I would mbe modded troll in a heartbeat.

Re:Mod parent up (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052056)

If I posted this about the acronym "US" you can be damn sure I would mbe modded troll in a heartbeat.

And they are?

Re:Mod parent up (-1, Troll)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052094)

I'm sure the OP would still have asked what the title was about if it read "European Commission Formally Objects..."

God bless the colonies...

Re:Mod parent up (2, Insightful)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052322)

They didn't post EU. If I posted NGA would you automatically know what I was talking about?

Re:Mod parent up (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052728)

If I posted NGA would you automatically know what I was talking about?

That's completely offensive. I'll have you know my ex girlfriend is black. CRKR.

...but, to answer your question: no.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052826)

I can't believe he dumped his girlfriend just because she was black.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30053022)

If I posted this about the acronym "US" you can be damn sure I would mbe modded troll in a heartbeat.

1. This is a website specifically aimed at US citizens.
2. I live in the EU, and I still wouldn't have had a clue if I hadn't read about this deal in the past. At two letter acronym is not unique across the globe.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052130)

And I am tired of people posting on a site for nerds who want the site dumbed down because it's too hard to search for somthing themselves.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052478)

If TLAs were universally unique you'd maybe have a point.

But they aren't.

Given that there's a relatively small number of letters in the alphabet, it's guaranteed that some acronyms will be duplicated with different meanings in different domains, communities or whatever. And if you happen to be in the wrong one (i.e different to clown who wrote the article) then it's quite understandable that you'll be confused.

Since when did the Oracle move from Athens?!?! (2, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052172)

Mod parent up, I'm tired of the /. eds assuming i know what every god damned acronym means. (Sure I can google it, but usually I just move on)

That's assuming you get right definition of "EC". Everyone here seems to assume that googling things will give you the correct or relevant answer.

For example, I googled it and E. Coli doesn't want Oracle in Athens to predict what Apollo will say.

So there!, "why don't you google it" Nazis!

Re:Mod parent up (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052192)

Why don't you just move along then?

Does this site really need to dumb down like the rest of the world?

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052416)

(Sure I can google it, but usually I just move on)

Do you want me to tie your shoes for you, your highness?

Re:Okay... (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051986)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EC [wikipedia.org]

Effectively, it's the EU.

Population of EU is about 500 million vs. 308 million for the USA, so the EC is kinda significant.

Re:Okay... (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052114)

Bah. You can't count those Europeans as a whole person!

Re:Okay... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052524)

No, the current european-american exchange rate is about 1 to 1.5, so you should count each of us as 1.5 person.

(no seriousness intended)

Re:Okay... (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052536)

They have socialized healthcare, i.e. euthanasia committees, so by next week they'll all be dead.

Stephen Hawking might escape, if his wheelchar can make it to the US embassy (free sovereign soil! NUMBER ONE!) in time.

Re:Okay... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052636)

Bah. You can't count those Europeans as a whole person!

Fine, we'll do it the old way.
They'll get counted as 3/5ths of a person for the census.

Re:Okay... (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052504)

We'll see what the population is after the civil war.

Re:Okay... (0, Flamebait)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051998)

EC = European Cretins

Re:Okay... (1)

stone2020 (123807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052784)

Eric Clapton

What is the EC?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051824)

The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) acts as an executive of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union.

EC objects? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051856)

What do DC and Marvel think?

It's the EU now, you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051858)

... insenitive clod.

Are getting a rep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051868)

One instance is enough to give them a rep?

Whatever that is.

Re:Are getting a rep? (1)

GoochOwnsYou (1343661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052528)

Its not the first time and wont be the last. The US believes fair competition is free competition while the EU is more about making sure theres an even playing field and as many competitors as possible.

The EU has a thing against monopolies in the market and they view Oracle owning MySQL as closer to monopolisation.

Despite myself being a left winger, I dont think the database should be an issue, because the MySQL community could easily fork it and compete with Oracle (Mambo/Joomla anyone?).

Thats the beauty of OSS

Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051920)

Just spin it off, keep a small interest that will prevent the spun-off unit from going rogue, and claim victory.

I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052434)

I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

Frankly, Ellisons refusal to spin it off is the strongest indication that the purpose of acquiring MySQL as part of the deal is anti-competitive. As you say, it's not as if Oracle really needs it, so it shouldn't be this much of an issue.

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (4, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052472)

I seriously don't see why Oracle needs MySQL.

Product mix - as the marketing guys call it. MySQL has a market that Oracle doesn't. How many folks use Oracle as their back end for their websites? Now they have products that cover more of the market for RDMSs; which I believe, makes them the leader, but by no means able to control the market as the EC fears.

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052776)

MySQL has a market that Oracle doesn't.

People who don't want to pay for a database. What if Microsoft bought Sun? Would Star/OpenOffice be classified as being in a different market as MSOffice?

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052476)

As a marketing strategy. See, it seems most people when needing an so-easy-to-use-a-caveman-can-do-it DB server, they choose MySQL. Sometimes it is used in a small project that grows well beyond its britches. Since MySQL is more or less just a front end to a pluggable back end storage system, then those folks who find themselves with such a project can go from MySQL->MySQL with "dependable" Oracle backend->Oracle.

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052556)

The best part of all this is that if it doesn't go through, Oracle could just buy all of Sun except for MySQL, leaving it to die..

Re:Why does Oracle need MySQL anyway? (1, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052570)

Car analogy warning!

The same reason that GM made and sold compacts and even when they wanted everyone to buy uber SUVs: if you won't buy the soccer-mom-battleship, maybe you'll buy their smaller vehicle.

Even Oracle (in its dark, festering, inner heart-of-hearts) realizes that not every DBMS installation needs Oracle 13qq UnrealMegaApplicationHyperClustering (tm). MySQL is the foot in the door. If you'll buy the GM compact car now, it's more likely you'll buy the GM RoadWhale later when you become a fat exurban bourgeois poseur (like me). It's the American Way(tm)!

Oracle's reasons *are* monopolistic! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051930)

Let's see...MySQL brings in ~50M a year, Sun is losing 100M a month. Makes no sense why Oracle would want to delay, except for monopolistic reasons.

Re:Oracle's reasons *are* monopolistic! (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052626)

Let's see...MySQL brings in ~50M a year, Sun is losing 100M a month. Makes no sense why Oracle would want to delay, except for monopolistic reasons.

Last I heard, Oracle doesn't want to delay. It's the European Commission that wants to delay Oracle.

As for "monopolistic reasons": Between IBM, Microsoft, Teradata, PostgreSQL, etc, how can Oracle possibly be said to have a monopoly on databases?

You seem to be suggesting that Oracle wants to destroy the market for MySQL. As the largest database vendor in the world, how does it benefit Oracle to destroy any market for databases, however large or small?

And that's assuming it's even possible for Oracle to do what you suggest. Even if the goal is merely to destroy the market for low-cost databases, I don't see how Oracle could do that. There is no shortage of low-cost (free) alternatives to MySQL -- PostgreSQL, Firebird, SQLite, the list goes on.

If Oracle doesn't immediately cave in to the European Commission, have you considered the possibility that it might be because Oracle plans to grow the MySQL market, and that even at $100 million/month, it has not yet sacrificed enough profit to make up for all the money it plans to make from MySQL in the coming years?

I disagree (4, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30051958)

Oracle is marketed as an high-end database product/set of services. MySql is a low-end one (and please, don't misinterpret this as shot against it). Now, I'm not saying that you won't find companies replacing their Oracle database with a MySql one, but those are very few and far between. Between Oracle and MySql, there are actually quite of slew of decent alternatives (both proprietary and open source).

Re:I disagree (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052396)

What about the Berkeley DB [oracle.com] they bought? They'll just need postgresql and sqlite next.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052718)

What about the Berkeley DB they bought? They'll just need postgresql and sqlite next.

And how would Oracle "buy" either of those? And why? PostgreSQL is BSD-licensed and SQLite is public domain. Oracle is free to start selling its own version of either package tomorrow, if it felt like it.

Re:I disagree (1)

dbarclay10 (70443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052608)

"MySql is a low-end [DB]" ... "[some] companies replacing their Oracle database with a MySql one, but those are very few and far between"

And you can be pretty bloody sure that if Oracle owns MySQL, that'll never change. :)

Re:I disagree (3, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052624)

MySql is a low-end one (and please, don't misinterpret this as shot against it).

But MySQL is low end. It's about as low end as you can go without using MS Access.

Is it a shot against it if what you're saying is true?

Re:I disagree (4, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052762)

I think Oracle's target market are the web 2.0 cowboys who originally went with MySQL, grew up and realized they needed something more robust, and are currently tied to MySQL because those other alternatives would break their extremely MySQL-specific code. If Oracle can provide a flawless backwards compatibility layer for MySQL, they'd have an edge over the other guys.

Fortunately, the EC is not sleeping like the DoJ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30051988)

I think the DoJ has forgotten what a free market means: it does not mean the absence of rules it means the freedom to enter and exit a market and to engage in transactions purely voluntarily. This means you need to have alternatives and not a (virtual) monopoly / oligopoly, so I think it's a great move of EC to object to this merger because there is a serious concern that the number of alternatives will shrink (even though MySQL has an open source license). Just my 2 cents.....

Re:Fortunately, the EC is not sleeping like the Do (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052606)

Sorry, but I can't agree with you on this. Just because the number of alternatives will shrink, this doesn't mean that there still aren't a slew of alternatives and would make Oracle a monopoly on the RDBMS market. Think of MS SQL Server, IBM DB2, Sybase, Informix, Teradata....for FOSS, think of Postgres, Firebird, even SQLite.

Is company health considered? (3, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052018)

As I remember it (and I could be remembering it wrong), Sirrus and XM were allowed to merge because the likelihood of both companies continuing without a merger were essentially nil.

Would the EU perform a similar analysis on Sun and figure that, given its situation, the option is either merge with Oracle or go bankrupt, in which case the situation is, conceptually, the same because either way Sun ceases to be a player. Or do they not consider this and simply line up the bullet points, see too much overlap, say no to the merger (which is not the same as an objection, I realize), and just hope that Sun can pull it together by itself?

Re:Is company health considered? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052210)

As I remember it (and I could be remembering it wrong), Sirrus and XM were allowed to merge because the likelihood of both companies continuing without a merger were essentially nil.

Neither Sirius nor XM could merge while spinning off one of their satellite radio operations into a new company, to maintain a "semi-free market" or a "free-er market".

It would be trivial to sell off mysql. Heck, give it away. Sell it to the FSF for $1?

Re:Is company health considered? (3, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052266)

the option is either merge with Oracle or go bankrupt

If Sun goes into reorganization or liquidation assets like MySQL would probably be sold off and Oracle would likely be blocked as a buyer of MySQL, so the EC's main objection would be resolved in an acceptable fashion either way. The purpose of government in a competitive free market should be exactly that; prevent anticompetitive behaviour and structures, not support failing companies.

Re:Is company health considered? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052578)

As I remember it (and I could be remembering it wrong), Sirrus and XM were allowed to merge because the likelihood of both companies continuing without a merger were essentially nil.

Would the EU perform a similar analysis on Sun and figure that, given its situation, the option is either merge with Oracle or go bankrupt...

First of all, Sirius/XM (AFAIK) doesn't broadcast in Europe.

Second, the Europeans and the USA have differing philosophies when it comes to anti-trust regulation.
America's philosophy is to protect the competitive process & competitors.
The Europeans' goal is to protect the competitive process & consumer welfare.
So to directly respond to your question, the Europeans would perform the analysis and not have any qualms allowing Sun to fail.

As an aside, when Sirius and XM originally got their satellite radio licenses
from the FCC, it included a requirement that the two companies never merge.
In America, the companies merged. In Europe, one of them would have been allowed to fail.

Re:Is company health considered? (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052838)

Company health? Either way, Sun is dead if this deal goes through--Oracle merely wants dibs on the corpse. They will scavenge what they can, and sell off the rest or simply let it rot.

Sun has some very cool hardware and software, not to mention an open source friendly attitude--probably none of which will survive the acquisition. I would rather see Sun struggling to survive than on the chopping block for a company like Oracle. I can't imagine that OpenSolaris, ZFS, Sparc, VirtualBox, Java, MySQL, or anything else really, will meet with a good fate. Things look quite grim in fact, as many of these directly compete with or threaten Oracle's products, or simply don't fit at all.

So, I can't say I'm disappointed with this decision.

F the EC (0, Flamebait)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052064)

And Sun or Oracle should care why?

They are American companies. Soon to be an American company.

Seriously, what can the EC do about it? Do they have a problem when Chinese companies that are bought, sold, destroyed and created in China and happen to sell products/services to Europe?

If the EC complains it is so unfair, Oracle can suggest they either stop selling SUN hardware or Oracle software to the EU, and let those bueacratic bastards pick how they best wish to further retard the quality of their citizens lives.

Let's be completely honest, this is a shake down, pure and simple, my recommendation is Oracle not pay and push back, my bet is like all things of French influence the EC will cower and back down.

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052162)

They are American companies. Soon to be an American company.

Indeed. They are most welcome to fcuk off out of Europe and go kiss fascist right ass in the US.

Re:F the EC (4, Insightful)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052180)

Actually they're multinational companies, and Oracle stands to lose a fair chunk of change if they can't do business in EU countries. Not that I agree with this retarded group's findings. The whole "Can't sustain development without being able to sell proprietary licenses" is bunk. Plenty of opensource projects thrive without being able to sell proprietary licenses. Linux springs to mind.

Re:F the EC (1)

dbarclay10 (70443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052672)

Okay, so you don't buy that MySQL couldn't survive as a strictly open-source project without the ability to sell proprietary/closed-source licenses (like they currently can). I wouldn't argue that.

How do you respond to this scenario?:

Oracle owns MySQL. Oracle shapes MySQL's development very slowly over the course of a decade or two, cementing it in its current niche (and, thus, it will never be a threat to Oracle's ridiculously fat profit margins).

In this scenario, do you think there will sufficient impetus to fork and grow an open-source-only MySQL project (with a different brand and basically a new community starting from scratch)?

Surely you can agree that the desire for such will be radically reduced, possibly to the point that it's not feasible?

Even if it is feasible, surely you can agree that it would almost certainly slow down MySQL's developments in this direction by years? (For many years MySQL has been growing more and more feature-rich, arguable to expand the roles that it can play. I would say pretty much all of their current momentum is in this direction.)

Re:F the EC (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052948)

If it is apparent that Oracle is dragging their feet on development AND their is a significant desire for a more capable database then yes a fork will happen. Either that or people will flock to alternatives. The biggest thing that bothers me about this objection is the fact that Oracle and MySQL aren't competitors. This is like someone raising a stink about Caterpillar acquiring the company that makes my riding lawnmower. Sure they both make tractors, but they're not really aimed at the same markets.

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052182)

If the EC complains it is so unfair, Oracle can suggest they either stop selling SUN hardware or Oracle software to the EU, and let those bueacratic bastards pick how they best wish to further retard the quality of their citizens lives.

Yeah, right. Because Europe is such a minor third world market ...
Ooops. [cia.gov]

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052196)

If they want to continue trading in the European Economic Area they will care.

Re:F the EC (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052224)

You raise a very interesting point - other than the fact that both the companies concerned trade within the EU, this is within the EU's jurisdiction how, exactly? Since this is about two US companies wanting to merge and the US DoJ is happy with the deal, does anyone actually know what the EC/EU actually can do about it? For instance, can they block the deal outright, escalate the dispute to the WTO or some such to prolong matters, or what? And if they can't prevent the deal going ahead, then can they place restrictions on the combined companies ability to trade within the EU without the US being able to go to the WTO?

Re:F the EC (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052284)

Both Oracle almost certainly have EU-based subsidiary companies in various European countries, so I imagine they could - at the very least - block the merger of those.

Re:F the EC (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052358)

They can and will fine them, just like they fined Microsoft and Intel. You don't pay? Get fined again. Still don't want to pay? Do your business elsewhere and say bye bye to the biggest market in the world.
If you want to make business within the EU abide you will have to abide to the rules.

Re:F the EC (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052254)

I hear they like to sell their stuff in the EU, so maybe they should care.

They could not threaten the EU, for fear it would declare their copyrights null and void.

You seem to have a pretty messed up sense of how the world works.

Re:F the EC (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052382)

You do to. EU contries can not declare copyrights null and void without small changes like pulling out of the WTO and nullifying the Berne Convention.

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052808)

Wrong.
Provided Oracle/Sun breaks EU law, it's an entirely reasonable course of action for the EU to restrict the company's copyright.

See for example one of the many small island nations dependant on gambling.
They (and the WTO) agree that the US ban on online gambling does not constitute fair traiding policies.
In return, American copyrights are null and void /in that country/, _up to a certain amount_.

Re:F the EC (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052292)

Oracle can suggest they either stop selling SUN hardware or Oracle software to the EU, and let those bueacratic bastards pick how they best wish to further retard the quality of their citizens lives.

SUN and Oracle are not that important. There's IBM, MS, SAP, Compaq, and a few other vendors that are praying to their personal god that the EC knocks Oracle on their ass.

Re:F the EC (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052302)

Both Oracle and Sun do an enormous amount of business in Europe and as such I expect they operate locale offices or divisions that exist as entities subject to European law.

Similarly US subsidiaries of organizations such as Siemens who are primarily European are subject to US law. (And why it was legal for Cuba to nationalize all those companies way beck when, their ball, their rules.)

Re:F the EC (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052312)

Yeah, right. Oracle is letting one of it's largest markets fall just so they don't have to sell MySQL.

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052772)

Now taking bets whether EC will block the sale of MySQL until Sun collapses.

Re:F the EC (1)

doctormetal (62102) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052316)

Seriously, what can the EC do about it?

Forbid them from selling their stuff in the EU. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of Oracles income comes from the EU. That is a significant amount of money they cannot afford to lose.

Re:F the EC (0)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052398)

The EC is much better at standing up to badly behaved companies than America. What they can do is fine any company which does work in Europe.

Are you serious suggesting not selling to the EU? The EU is bigger than America, world-wide the EU could well make up at least a third of all sales that Oracle or Sun makes. Of course they aren't going to throw that away.

Re:F the EC (1, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052424)

The EC is much better at standing up to badly behaved companies than America.

Well, standing up to badly behaved American companies.

Re:F the EC (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052414)

There's nothing wrong about the EC trying to prevent monopolies/unacceptable mergers. They have a say too, because these companies operate there.

Multinationals aren't based in a single country (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052442)

I am not a business lawyer. However, if the Chinese Companies that wanted to merge included EU-based subsidiaries then I expect that, yes, they would have a problem with that and have the legal authority to block the merger via preventing the merge of those subsidiary companies. If Oracle and Sun want to pull out of the EU they'd have to uproot the fairly substantial business operations, buildings and staff that they have there. Oracle, in particular, has a huge office in the UK.

If they don't want to be within the jurisdiction of the EU, I imagine they'd need to remove the technical and sales operations in those countries as well, move all those business operations to the US and then export from there to EU-based companies. They could have done that if they wanted to stay out of EU regulatory reach. So given they did not, they've already chosen to expose themselves to EU law. At that point, being subject to the local legal system is a cost of doing business there, like paying the local taxes. Their available remedy, similarly to the tax situation, is to lobby for a change of law or to move operations to a country where they like the laws better.

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052448)

How would you explain to shareholders that company you manage just lost half its revenue (because your american pride got hurt)?

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052452)

Stupid fucking bigot.
Go fuck yourself

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052464)

I assume you know that the US has applied many times a "principle" of extra-territoriality, right ?... with the argumentation that if they do (or did) business in the US, they are to obey US rules. Fair enough. The same thing works the other way as well, and Oracle and Sun can always refuse this judgement and stop doing business in Europe. No harm done. Would you like some Liberty fries with that ?

Re:F the EC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052516)

they care because they sell to the EU. it makes up for more of their business than it used to since the USA is going down the shitter.

Re:F the EC (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052614)

Are they really "American companies"? They both have their headquarters in the U.S., but operations quite distributed. What proportion of each company's employees are based in the United States? I've actually been looking for that information and can't find it, so not a rhetorical question.

Re:F the EC (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052864)

They are American companies. Soon to be an American company.

*yawn*

always the same old crap. Maybe I should write a reply-macro.

I'll make it short: The EU can kill them.
Europe is a bigger market than the US. It is also an important hub towards the near and middle east and eastern Europe, Russia, etc. for most american companies. Not being able to do business in the EU is a deathspell for most international corporations. Especially in the technology sector where the technology and competitors that will emerge in Europe to take your place can easily expand world-wide.

If the EC complains it is so unfair, Oracle can suggest they either stop selling SUN hardware or Oracle software to the EU, and let those bueacratic bastards pick how they best wish to further retard the quality of their citizens lives.

Funny how no "american company" has ever actually tried that stunt. I wonder why? Are they all pussies or are you an idiot for believing that they wouldn't be hung from their own intestines by their shareholders if they triedD?

Not sure I get the EC ruling (3, Interesting)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052248)

This is somewhat like preventing Mercedes-Benz from buying Kia in order to prevent a monopoly. As well-stated earlier, Oracle doesn't compete against MySQL often if at all. IBM and Microsoft appear to be the most legitimate competition Oracle has in their DBMS space, and MySQL wouldn't seem to impact the competitive balance all that much. Having said that, who would want MySQL? Cisco, HP, and EMC don't seem like good choices because they all have product families that each would hate to have to tie to a 'Runs Best with MySQL' campaign. Red Hat makes sense from a certain point of view, but I'm not sure they want to diversify into the DBMS space.

The commision is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052264)

Two shit database applications combined will give us the most shitty database in the world.

Ps. you suck Larry.

And Europe can let get in their say.... (3, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052444)

IBM may be doing what they can to stir the pot on this. With each delay, Sun's survival is more in question, and more business can be sucked away from Sun by IBM.

The objection (that Oracle will have "control" of an Open Source product like MySQL) is absolutely absurd. First of all, there is nothing Oracle can do to prevent others from continuing to update and support MySQL under GPL. Many Open Source projects continue under GPL. MySQL has a huge "out of Oracle's reach" GPL effort already.

Secondly, the database market is dynamic with many new competitors entering the field. MySQL as a relational database faces competition from a host of nonSQL databases whose performance and capacity relational databases cannot match.

The real problem with the merger is politics for profit and spite. Heaven forbid the EU allows two American companies to merge. The EU likes to keep their own mergers to a minimum .... like with Airbus?

I object (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052506)

to the EC controlling so much to Europe. How about we break YOUR asses up to nurture competition.

A Rep? (5, Interesting)

theillien (984847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052566)

According to the article the last time the EU/EC contravened a takeover was when they denied General Electric's takeover of Honeywell in 2001. I'd hardly call two denials in a decade a reputation for disagreeing with the US on these matters.

Good Business (2, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052622)

Oracle is pursuing a very good business model with the Sun aquisition.

1) Eliminate somebody else from buying them, like IBM.
2) Get all that neat Java stuff
3) Some hardware engineering but that SPARC stuff really isn't competitive.
4) Get MySQL and finally kill it by letting it wither. MySQL is probably the biggest threat right now to Oracle's dominance in the database marketplace. My controlling
it they can drive the software literally into the ground.

It was a $7B bargain.

Re:Good Business (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052722)

If you think MySQL is any threat to Oracle, then you don't understand anything about the commercial database market.

Re:Good Business (3, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052952)

"Some hardware engineering but that SPARC stuff really isn't competitive."

Really?

How much do you know about "that SPARC stuff?" It's true that x86 has finally surpassed a lot of the things that Sparc led the way in, but there are still ways that traditional Sparc scales better.

Now moving to the next generation of Sun's gear, we have hardware virtualisation and CoolThreads. Under a hundred grand will buy you a system with four 8-core CPUs, and each core can process eight simultaneous threads. That is OLTP nirvana! Too much power? Chop it up into a handful of smaller servers, each running their own OS. Any one of them can in turn be split into zones--soft OS partitions.

I keep hearing about how Sparc is obsolete, and yet the new generation of Sparc processors and supporting hardware is pushing the state of the art that Intel and AMD aren't even planning in yet.

ah, killing MySQL like Digital's rdb... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30052642)

...when VAX were great in the '80s. Lovely multi-language integration features too. But Oracle let it stagnate so they could sell Oracle's own rdbms on VMS.

US bias, come on, it's getting tiresome (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052748)

The EU and the EC are getting a rep for disagreeing with US counterparts.

Generally, in a disagreement there are two parties that disagree with each other. Unless one wants to implicitly express that one side is right and the other wrong, that's the way it should be phrased.

Quite frankly, given that US "guardians" of the markets have just been caught sleeping at the wheel when they let the financial crisis happen despite experts having warned of the problems for about a decade, it's not as if they had much reputation capital left, do they?

Re:US bias, come on, it's getting tiresome (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30052842)

Not that the europeans werent caught in the exact same position regarding the crisis.

This "counterpart" stuff is just bogus: they are the same ilk.

Abmicious trolls are on the wheels of occident.... but then again, I cannot recall a time when they werent.

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