“I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products.”
Some famous words for a, in The Netherlands, famous woman. European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. She said it on, what probably is, one of her last active day’s as Commissioner in this role. From coming February the will be the European Commissioner for ICT and Telecom. The Digital Agenda.
But what happened? The announced acquisition of Sun Microsystems by the Oracle Corporation in september 2009 spun some dust. The European Union, under the management of Neelie Kroes, immediately started an in-depth (as they call it themselves) investigation. Oracle immediately responded by pointing out, over and over again, that their intentions on Sun soft- and hardware where ‘like a gentleman’. Oracle would put money and effort in innovation and Oracle would keep supporting the Open Source parts of Sun, Java and MySQL. These where the main points of concern of the European Union.
The MySQL part of the deal certainly was one that raised concerns. The EU points out, in their merger clearance, that Oracle has the intention to keep innovating the MySQL product, but also that there are some good alternatives on the Open Source Database. Some free publicity for PostgreSQL.
Then there was Java. Because Oracle now ‘owns’ Sun. There where some concerns about the potential impact in Oracle’s acquisition of the Intellectual Property right of the Java development platform. Oracle already said a few years ago: Oracle loves Java. The EU found that Oracle would not have the legal incentives to restrict or block competitors access to Java. So probably, that’s that.
The EU commission realized that the acquisition would mean, again, a jump in the Middleware market for Oracle. But it thought there where no competition concern risen there. Other competitors weren’t noticeably smaller than the ‘new’ Oracle.
Only wished I bought some ORCL stack a week ago (and sold it yesterday)….