Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


08:00 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: Oracle, Larry Ellison, The EU, And MySQL

Would you be shocked--shocked!--to learn that the EU's battle against Oracle is all about politics, power, and preserving jobs?

I spent much of the past two weeks in Rome and Athens and was utterly dazzled by the monuments from ancient civilizations and the soaring art and imagination of the Renaissance and beyond. And the day before I returned home, I might have absorbed some continental cultural insights into the EU's fixation with MySQL and the EU's related desire to bring Oracle and Larry Ellison to heel.

But first I want to underscore Larry Ellison's stated position on this MySQL obsession because it's going to affect how not just Oracle but indeed all technology companies in their business operations in Europe in these muddled days of Emperor Neelie Kroes, who heads the European Commission's anti-capitalism (did I say "anti-capitalism"? Sorry—my mistake—instead of "anti-capitalism" I meant to say "anti-competition" but "anti-capitalism" came out).

Kroes, for reasons we'll get to in a moment, is armpit-deep in political gamesmanship, technological fantasies, and empire-building, and has absolutely no intention whatsoever of giving Ellison and Oracle and Sun a fair shake. This is now about power of the worst kind—the bureaucratic kind that's answerable to no one and accountable to an even smaller group—and her intention to make a very public display with Oracle and Ellison.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

But Emperor Kroes, though clearly schooled in back-room politics and first-rate dissembling, must have missed the lesson on "know your enemy" because I think she has made a monumental mistake in thinking she can intimidate and overpower Larry Ellison. Here's why:

In a public Q&A Ellison did in September, former Sun executive Ed Zander at one point asks Ellison about the then early-stage sticking points the EU had with MySQL over concerns that Oracle would bury it so as not to hurt sales or Oracle's database products. After Ellison's first broad comment about his plans for MySQL, look closely at the answers he gives to Zander about the likelihood of getting rid of MySQL:

"We're a big fan of open source—in fact, we've had the major transaction engine to MySQL—it's something Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL) bought years ago and has invested in it to a higher level than it was invested in before. We believe in open source, we're a huge supporter of Linux. MySQL and Oracle do not compete—at all . . . . There's a long list of database machines and database software we compete against—we never compete against MySQL. They're both called databases, they address very different markets—furthermore, it's open source."

Zander asks, "If they ask you to spin it off, will you?"

Ellison: "No."

Rapid-fire, Zander asks, "If they told you to spin it off, would you?"

Ellison: "No. We're not gonna spin it off. The U.S. government cleared this, we think the Europeans are gonna clear this, and we are not going to spin anything off."

Not a lot of ambiguity, is there? He bought it, he wants it, he intends to invest in it, and perhaps most of all he doesn't want the EU thinking it can control every move Oracle makes and dictate the terms of all future deals the highly acquisitive company pursues.

From the perspective of Emperor Kroes, however, here's an excerpt from a rather troubling article from Forbes.com that was picked up by the Chinese online service Alibaba.com:


Recommended Reading:

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2011 | 7:18:26 AM
re: Global CIO: Oracle, Larry Ellison, The EU, And MySQL
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2011 | 7:17:10 AM
re: Global CIO: Oracle, Larry Ellison, The EU, And MySQL
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/13/2020
Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
Russian Cyber Gang 'Cosmic Lynx' Focuses on Email Fraud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
The docker packages version docker-1.13.1-108.git4ef4b30.el7 as released for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras via RHBA-2020:0053 (https://access.redhat.com/errata/RHBA-2020:0053) included an incorrect version of runc that was missing multiple bug and security fixes. One of the fixes regressed in th...
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
The version of docker as released for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras via RHBA-2020:0053 advisory included an incorrect version of runc missing the fix for CVE-2019-5736, which was previously fixed via RHSA-2019:0304. This issue could allow a malicious or compromised container to compromise the co...
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
An issue was discovered in the Video Extension in Suprema BioStar 2 before 2.8.2. Remote attackers can read arbitrary files from the server via Directory Traversal.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
The goform/setUsbUnload endpoint of Tenda AC15 AC1900 version allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary system commands via the deviceName POST parameter.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
A hard-coded telnet credential in the tenda_login binary of Tenda AC15 AC1900 version allows unauthenticated remote attackers to start a telnetd service on the device.