European Commission Approves Oracle Acquisition of Sun

Oracle has received regulatory approval from the European Commission for its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Oracle said it expects unconditional approval from China and Russia and intends to close the transaction shortly.

In a statement released by the commission, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said, "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."

Oracle had originally announced in April 2009 that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Sun Microsystems. Sun's stockholders approved the transaction in July, 2009. Later in the summer, the U.S. Department of Justice also approved the proposed acquisition and terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

The purchase has been held up however by the European Commission's concerns that Oracle's ownership of the MySQL open source database, through the Sun acquisition, would have an adverse effect on competition.

According to the commission, its investigation found that although MySQL and Oracle compete in certain parts of the database market, they are not close competitors in others, such as the high-end segment. Additionally, the commission said its investigation showed that PostgreSQL, another open source database, is considered by many database users to be a credible alternative to MySQL and could be expected to replace to some extent the competitive force currently exerted by MySQL on the database market.

Oracle plans to host a live event for customers, partners, press and analysts on January 27 at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. Details are available here.