Oracle has a big problem - it can't increase its income by expansion. Everybody who wants database or middleware software already has it. And most of the potential customers are already using Oracle software.
So, over the last few years, they have started eyeing up other people's revenue streams. Want to run a big database on a big Sun box? Why not run Oracle RAC on RedHat commodity boxes, giving us more licensing money instead of buying hardware. That expansion has now run its course - the remaining big single instances need to be single instances.
They are now pushing into RedHat's revenue stream. Having moved people onto RedHat on commodity hardware, they are now jealous of RedHat's revenue, so are pushing people into Oracle Enterprise Linux (sic). The plan is simple, by stopping customers giving money to RedHat, there is more space left in the budget for Oracle software.
But their revenue growth still depends on increasing the amount of money they get. Expect to see illustrations where the "before" case has money going to Sun/RedHat and the after shows the "value" of getting Oracle further into the technology stack, so despite having increased list prices the customers appear to be shelling out less. At the same time, the virtualisation players are proclaiming how they can "help improve licensing efficiency" (i.e. mean that customers run Oracle software on less boxes, so give Oracle less money). But, like the spoilt child taking his ball back, Oracle just drag their heels over the supported status of their software in these virtualised environments, essentially spreading "FUD by omission".
Finally, like Sun, they've bungled their attempt to get a significant general services business (what services business they both have is attached to their own products, unlike IBM or HP).
These price increases show two things: (1) The enterprise software market has now stabilised around a certain set of products, so Oracle don't have to defend their market share with aggressive pricing, and (2) Oracle has run out of ideas. They are heading in 180 degrees the opposite direction to Sun, who are treating software as an enabling component which should be free (libre) with revenue coming from providing valuable solutions. Oracle, meanwhile, are unsurprisingly treating software as goods in their own right.
[AC, as my employers work with all the companies mentioned above]