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The European Commission's decision to investigate Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems under competition rules could lead to a major rift with US authorities, a competition law expert has warned. Alan Davis, a competition law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, has warned of a repeat of a clash between EU …

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Good old EC...

Thank goodness that the EC's regulators aren't doing the roll-over-and-play-dead act that the US ones are. Something tells me that, given the current state of US politics and economy, the US regulators are putting an emphasis on expediency instead of diligence.

I'm sure the Americans will be deeply unhappy that we are scrutinising their "domestic" takeovers again but these companies are major players in our markets.

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Is Europe not enough client state for the US?

Please, DO let's have more rift before we get dragged in wars against Iran and for Georgia.

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@ Candy

You've gotta be joking. I work for one of the companies in question, in the UK, and delaying this in the way they are is harming competition more by harming Sun and associated technologies, not to mention keeping people's jobs in the balance even longer.

They've had plenty of time to look at the issues already, it doesn't take that long to decide these things - typical glacial-pace bureaucratic EC.

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Convenient timing

Call me cynical, but we're all expecting the WTO to find against Airbus in the next day or two, and that will probably allow the US to impose big sanctions against the EU. Perhaps the Oracle / Sun merger will be a negotiating chip in those discussions.

I hope not. The anticompetitive nature of this proposed takeover is obvious, and it's in all our interests for MySQL to be remain independent of the big commercial database vendors.

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Non-issue most likely

"An interesting aspect is that the Commission does not seem to be concerned about Oracle gaining control over the programming language Java"

Maybe they just agreed with the US authorities and therefore ignored this aspect.

No rocket science or mystery required.

I can't imagine Oracle having any incentive to develop MySQL though, why would they want to enhance a free database platform to directly compete against their main revenue stream. Still there's that fork of MySQL codebase with an odd name I guess...

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Load of crap...

... I've been developing and architecting DB cenric solutions for yonks and have never seen MySQL competing with Oracle for a place in a solution. They address totally different markets. Yes you could use Oracle DB instead of MySQL or even My SQL instead of Oracle for some applications, but you'd be mad to do either. Oracle is overkill and expensive to use where MySQL can do the job and MySQL lacks enterprse class features where something like Oracle, DB2 or (maybe) MS SQL Server is necessary.

Just a case of posturing by the EU, they will OK it anyway now they've shown how important and powerful they are (not).

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There are creative options open to the EC

Quite a few companies use MySQL as an embedded database and cannot use a GPL-licensed version because that would force them to release their own source code. Any fork of MySQL can only ever be GPL unless Oracle agrees to relicense MySQL under a less restrictive license, e.g. Apache or BSD. One remedy the EC could adopt short of requiring Oracle to divest itself of MySQL would be to to force them to relicense MySQL in such a way as to make non-GPL forks possible.

I agree MySQL is not capable enough technically to compete with Oracle directly (PostgreSQL is the open-source RDBMS to watch in this respect), but it is commercially and has fairly effective marketing. Purely non-commercial projects like PostgreSQL do not command the same marketing muscle as MySQL did, which partly explains the lower adoption. Perhaps Ingres will be a winner from this, but more likely a company such as Percona, since I can't imagine open-source database users to have much trust in Oracle staying honest (I certainly wouldn't). Oracle would end up being a distro of MySQL just as Red Hat is a major contributor yet only a distributor of Linux.

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Gates Horns

@AC re Load of carp...

It isn't that MySQL competes with Oracle, but if Oracle controls Oracle(the database) and also MySQL, then you run in to a bit of competitiveness of Oracle vs the rest of the market.

So its the fact that you have two products that may in themselves do not compete with one another, but would in fact further strangle the rest of the market.

Even if you discount the impact of MySQL because its Open Source and it was forked, there is still enough issues due to brand recognition and #licenses and license revenue.

Will this kill the deal? Probably not.

But it could force Oracle in to some concessions and restructuring the final outcome.

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WTF

Yet again, unelected & unaccountable EU busybodies are sticking their little poky bits into matters which they don't understand and are probably inherently incapable of understanding.

WTF is it to do with some jumped-up self-important little Gauleiter if US company A wishes to join with US company B?

Suppose when Cyclops was pushing Lloyds into taking over HBOS, the whole thing was forbidden by Vanuatu or Tonga?

I'm STILL stunned by the monstrous arrogance of these apparatchiks.

Sod an election - we NEED a revolution.

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Who is right/wrong or more right/wrong?

Alan Davis's statement that "the US competition authorities had already cleared the deal" suggest that America is right and therefore anyone who challenges this decision is wrong. But why is that so? Why are we supposed to accept that America is right in this case, or indeed in any case? Why is it wrong to have a disagreement with America?

I don't have an axe to grind against either Sun or Oracle. I have used products from both firms for years.

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@Ted Treen and others

Sure - both Oracle and Sun are perfectly free to cease all business in the EU, so they won't need any authorization to merge from the EC.

To people sho are complaining now: get over it or get ready to feel bad, bad, bad when China and India will be wanting to have their say as well.

I feel sorry for Sun employees, though. I know many of them, I know it's not funny for them, and I do wish it would be easier.

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The Commission is extinguishing alternatives through ineffectivenss and inefficiency

Author writes, "The Commission has to ensure that such alternatives would continue to be available."

Since the EU is dragging their feet, Sun as a company has been losing their customers due to uncertainty... dragging this on for months could put this large company out of business, ensuring the destruction of many products used by many consumers.

The EU is ensuring that many alternative will NOT exist due to their their inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

If the EU is ignorant of the businesses that Oracle and Sun participate in and can not make a prompt decision regarding their businesses, then they should not be in position of regulating such businesses.

Say no, yes, or give conditions promptly - the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the EC government is hurting global publicly held companies, consumers, and stock holders.

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WTF?

@ Fazal Majid

"Quite a few companies use MySQL as an embedded database and cannot use a GPL-licensed version because that would force them to release their own source code. Any fork of MySQL can only ever be GPL unless Oracle agrees to relicense MySQL"

Your journey to understand Open Source, GPL etc. is perhaps too long, if not impossible, wish you luck, however . Perhaps the name and the text is just a joke.

I do not want to be rude (if you are a real person) but it is like it bothers you that it is hard to steal something lawfully.

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SPARC is dead, ROCK is history, SPARC64 is Fujitsu tech

just kill sparc and get it over with.....we only use xeon and power....all sparc servers that come up for refresh get migrated.

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