IOUG Supports Oracle Acquisition of Sun and Opposes European Commission Objection

The Independent Oracle Users Group has released a letter opposing the recent European Commission objection to the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Ian Abramson, IOUG president, said that IOUG organizations support complex, multi-vendor database environments. Its members run Microsoft, IBM and Oracle platforms; similarly many members are Sun customers. Because of this, Abramson said, the IOUG has a unique perspective on the state of the database industry, including how Oracle approaches and supports the community.

According to Abramson, the recent objections from the EU inferring that competition and innovation will be reduced in the database industry through this acquisition does not translate to those in the IOUG community who support the profession. In fact, they believe competition will increase, according to Abramson.

Although the Oracle database may be proprietary, much of the technology that surrounds it is built on industry standards and open source technology, Abramson points out. Additionally, should Oracle drastically deviate from its historical pattern of supporting and enhancing the products it acquires, the IOUG believes the market would drive new competitors in the open source environment.

"Consistently Oracle has demonstrated its intention to define standard approaches that are open to all, and the acquisition of MySQL is expected to be no different," Abramson said. "Oracle has shown it is a company that supports open standards. We anticipate that Oracle will continue to foster innovation and openness with MySQL following the acquisition and not hinder competition. Oracle has acquired numerous other companies in the past and has built on the strength of each to foster its growth. Oracle has previously acquired databases and has continued to support and enhance them, while providing critical business support. The acquisitions of TimesTen, Berkeley DB and Hyperion Essbase illustrate this very well."

The IOUG maintains that Oracle's acquisition of Sun and MySQL will increase competition in the database market. In fact, by not approving this acquisition, the IOUG believes the EU's position will diminish competition by making a significant impact on Sun and its ability to remain competitive.

The IOUG letter follows a statement issued by Oracle last week that its acquisition of Sun is essential for competition in the high-end server market, for revitalizing Sparc and Solaris, and for strengthening the Java development platform. The company also said it plans to "vigorously oppose" the European Commission's Statement of Objections and that the evidence against the Commission's position is "overwhelming."

Oracle said it is confident it will ultimately obtain unconditional clearance of the transaction, which was first announced on April 20, 2009. At that time, Sun and Oracle said they had formed a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun, in a transaction valued at approximately $7.4 billion. The U.S. Department of Justice subsequently approved Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun and terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.