PeopleSoft lets anti-merger provision lapse
Business applications vendor, PeopleSoft, has quietly allowed a program to lapse that offered potential customers rebates in case the company is acquired by hostile bidder Oracle and its software portfolio is no longer developed. PeopleSoft spokesperson, Steve Swasey, said that the company’s board had, at least temporarily, let the program expire. Oracle has been trying to buy PeopleSoft in a multibillion-dollar deal, but it now faces several objections on antitrust grounds by the European Union and the US Department of Justice. Swasey said the program, which comes up for renewal each quarter, was allowed to lapse at the end of the first quarter on March 31. The program had offered refunds of two to five times the value of a customer’s contracts should a merger take place and the purchasing company cease to enhance PeopleSoft’s software. Oracle at one point denounced the move as an “unsustainable gimmick to close deals”. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, the program had created $US1.5 billion worth of potential liability.
Dell, Oracle link up in server/database deal
Oracle has cut a deal with Dell making the server maker its partner of choice for bundling and configuring its database software for sales to the low-end, high-volume marketplace. The companies announced an exclusive arrangement that makes Dell the first hardware vendor to have a shrink-wrapped offering built around Oracle’s 10g database. As part of the distribution pact, Dell will offer tested and supported servers carrying Oracle software and will act as the customer point of contact. Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, said Dell was selected because of the wonderful job the company was capable of doing shipping pre-bundled products. The mixed Dell/Oracle systems are available now. A server running 10g on a Dell PowerEdge server with a Red Hat Linux operating system will start at $US4108. The companies also announced future joint manageability and integration projects.