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EU Rejects Snoracle - Larry Vows to Fight!

11.10.2009
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Oracle and the  EU are escalating their legal battle over the Sun acquisition.  The EU took the first step towards blocking the merger Monday with a formal Statement of Objections.  Oracle immediately responded with a statement of its own, saying the EU has a "profound misunderstanding" about competition in the database market and "open source dynamics".  Sources expected the objection to come soon after Oracle, led by CEO, Larry Ellison, refused to give up the MySQL database in the merger.  The company says it will "vigorously oppose" the EU's Statement of Objections.

Oracle's release pointedly states "It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MySQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone.  That is the whole point of open source."  According to Oracle, there are many competitors in the database market.  It mentions IBM, Microsoft, and Sybase but does not name any open source competitors besides MySQL.  Oracle adds that the Sun acquisition is "essential" to competiton in the server market and the continued strength of the Java development platform.

The Statement of Objections confirms previous reports indicating that MySQL is the only barrier standing in the way of a Sun-Oracle merger.  The EU wants to make sure that the increasingly popular open source systems continue to provide an alternative to commercial alternatives.  "The Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover," said Neelie Kroes, competition commissioner of the European Commission.  

The US Department of Justice also issued a statement in response to the EU's objection.  The statement reiterates the department's reasons for approving the merger saying that customers would still have a variety of open source and proprietary database products to choose from.  "The department also concluded that there is a large community of developers and users of Sun's open source database with significant expertise in maintaining and improving the software, and who could support a derivative version of it," said Attorney General Molly Boast of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

Comments

Wal Rus replied on Tue, 2009/11/10 - 12:54pm

funny, they should split up IBM then for consistency.

Mark Haniford replied on Tue, 2009/11/10 - 2:46pm

Apparently, the US Justice Department actually understands the MySQL situation, what open source actually is, and EU bureaucrats remain clueless.

So as Sun loses $100 million a month, Java and other Sun products wither on the vine, EUreaucrats play games with things they don't even understand.

Jeff Peff replied on Wed, 2009/11/11 - 3:00pm

Some european techsites state that a merger will mean MySQL will be the "castrated" young brother of Oracle, much like Microsoft is doing with Access and MSSQL. They provide basic functionality in the "free" product, but when you really want to use it you have to pay a steep price.

 

I wonder how much of this is true. What do you guys think?

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Wed, 2009/11/11 - 6:00pm

 Might this be the ultimate test for open source on a grand scale?

I thought MySql was already forked off by a few of the original MySql incubators, correct me if I'm wrong.

Shouldn't Open Source be automatically protected from bullyish companies and governments? The public owns the code, not? Or what am I missing here?

Geert Rombouts replied on Fri, 2009/11/13 - 1:59am

To Marc Haniford : those who you call eurocrats seem to be in good company though : http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173972/richard_stallman_joins_call_for_oracle_to_divest_mysql.html .  To Mike P : the public does not own the code, the owner licenses the code to the public under the GPL. Which is completely different. The owner is not bound to obeying the GPL, the licensees are.

Jeroen Wenting replied on Mon, 2009/11/16 - 6:11am

" wonder how much of this is true. What do you guys think? "

Oracle wouldn't have to do anything to achieve that. MySQL is already a highly disfunctional product.

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