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November 10th, 2009 5:41 pm
E.U. Antitrust Navel-Gazers Target Oracle/Sun Agreement
Posted by Print

As the worldwide economic downturn drags on, why are European regulators arbitrarily stifling Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, causing harm to the latter’s business?  One would think we’d want to encourage beneficial mergers during these lean times. right?

Apparently not in the sclerotic European Commission (EC).  After notoriously blocking such other synergistic mergers as General Electric and Honeywell, EC bean-counters are formally objecting to the Oracle/Sun agreement.  Even the suddenly-activist Obama Justice Department had already approved the deal and said it wouldn’t harm competition, but it apparently troubles the European status quo too much for Euro tastes.  As a result, Sun’s sales have plummeted some 25%, and Oracle could ultimately be forced to abandon the deal and pay a $260 million breakup penalty. Oracle’s software focus doesn’t even compete with Sun in the consumer marketplace, and the agreement was reached back in April.

Meanwhile, EC bureaucrats navel-gaze, and consumers again pay the price.

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