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Risk

12/13/2009
05:07 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: Oracle Customer Comments Will Force EU To Yield

Oracle customers last week crushed the EU's case against Oracle by saying its databases don't compete with MySQL. But will the EU listen?

After six months of the EU's underhanded attempts to derail Oracle's acquisition of Sun via back-room maneuverings and political gamesmanship, we saw once again late last week that the sunshine of truth is indeed the best disinfectant.

With a dozen Oracle customers shooting down the EU's contention that MySQL competes with Oracle's databases, even the reality-challenged anticapitalist Eurocrats will have a hard time glossing over those customer presentations in their ongoing attempt to make the world believe that up is down and war is peace and MySQL competes with Oracle's databases.

On top of that, Oracle early this morning released a list of 10 commitments to MySQL customers and developers that should alleviate any rational concerns about its intentions to keep MySQL fully open and accessible, with no unfair advantages accruing to Oracle over other database vendors. (See adjacent Global CIO blog post called "Oracle Makes 10 Commitments To Seal EU Deal".)

As for the irrational concerns sure to be raised by the dyed-in-the-wool ideological opponents of the deal, well, they're not interested in either fairness or free-market competition so to me their considerations are moot in light of these two huge steps forward for Oracle.

So with thanks to a strong overview piece in the Wall Street Journal, let's go to the the (virtual) videotape:

**The British telecommunications company Vodafone told the EC last week that Oracle's databases do not "constitute direct substitutes to Sun's offerings."

**Fujitsu Services Ltd said the MySQL and Oracle databases "operate in different markets."

**General Electric said while "both parties' offerings may on the face of it share some functionality, they are qualitatively different."

**McAfee said the databases from Oracle and MySQL don't "constitute direct substitutes."

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**The Oracle Applications User Group, which has been around for 20 years and has members from more than 35 Fortune 100 global corporations, said in a recent letter to the chief EU competition-stifler Neelie Kroes: "With respect to MySQL, we expect Oracle will make contributions to the community as a whole that will make MySQL a viable and vibrant choice for enterprise database solution consideration. Our international membership fully supports the acquisition and feels it would increase competition."

**Deutsche Borse Group said it does "not see a negative impact of the Sun/Oracle transaction."

**Nasdaq OMX Group, commenting on the existence of MySQL alternatives, said, "We would most likely have chosen PostgreSQL if MySQL was not available."

**Spanish bank BBVA, the U.K. National Health Service, an Oracle user group represented by BT Group, Swedish cell-phone maker L.M. Ericsson, the British Atomic Weapons Agency, and Sabre Holdings Corp. were among other Oracle customers that either presented closed-door support for Oracle in Brussels late last week or offered strong written support.

In addition, Oracle said that 200 of its customers were writing letters to the EU informing it of their support for Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

On the other side of the scales, the EU parity-pushers were also expected to hear from opponents of the Oracle/Sun deal, including EU homeboy SAP; the man who developed MySQL; and, in something of a shocker, Microsoft—the former EU whipping boy now apparently eager to be spared the lash and to play the role of EU throne-sniffer.

Microsoft apparently thinks global corporations will be impressed with its toadying up to the bureaucratic outfit with which it clashed so bitterly over the years, and see in that action evidence that Microsoft's an aggressive and innovative global leader in enterprise technology. But if they do indeed think that, they will be profoundly wrong.

Conversely, it's a stroke of genius on Oracle's part to get its customers out in front of the European Commission that's been holding up Oracle's acquisition of Sun for the past six months in a pathetically poorly camouflaged effort to restrain the growth and impact of U.S.-based Oracle in Europe and other parts of the world. Here's why its all-in raise will cause the EU to back down:

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