EU regulators inform Oracle of merger objections

EU regulators inform Oracle of merger objections

Oracle has received the European Commission's statement of objections regarding its multi-billion dollar takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.

The company said it was pleased to have clarity on what the Commission's key issues were and will address the issues through its written right of reply and in testimony, Oracle spokesman, Jim Finn, said.

Oracle did not disclose the substance of the Commission's objections and said it would not comment on the matter further.

The company was confident that the Commission would see how competitive the market for enterprise applications was, Finn said. Officials at the Commission could not be reached for comment.

Oracle in October officially notified the European antitrust authorities of its intent to acquire PeopleSoft. A month later the Commission said it would launch an in-depth review, highlighting concerns similar to those that had been raised by the US Department of Justice, which is suing Oracle to block the deal.

After an initial, one-month investigation of the proposed merger, the Commission said in November that a merger of two of the largest competitors in the enterprise software market merited further analysis, since the number of key players would be reduced from three to two - Oracle and SAP - in certain applications software markets.

The deal has also faced stiff resistance from PeopleSoft's board and from its shareholders, though Oracle has vowed to fight on.

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