Oracle and SAP Talk Smack

 |  Includes: ORCL, SAP
by: Tom Taulli

The ego of Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) Larry Ellison is never in doubt. However, in light of this week’s announcement of the company’s blow-out quarter, he certainly had every right to brag. Let’s face it, when the stock price of a company the size of Oracle surges 11%, it is no fluke.

Given that Ellison is a devotee of the ancient warrior-author Sun Tzu, it is no surprise he took shots at his mortal enemy, SAP (NYSE: SAP). In fact, it was a particularly cutting remark; that is, Ellison said his company is taking away market share from SAP’s application business.

Why is this happening? Simply put, Oracle thinks SAP’s software is crusty. And, the next version is not expected to hit the market until 2010. Actually, Ellison thinks that SAP will have no choice but to pursue an aggressive acquisition strategy (which is something Oracle has been doing for the past two years – spending almost $20 billion on deals).

Well, SAP likes a good fight as well and yes, it has responded to Ellison’s claims. Interestingly enough, SAP's rebuke sounds like the beginning of a lawsuit: "Larry Ellison's statements in today's Oracle earnings press release about SAP's product and acquisition strategy are a complete misrepresentation."

Yes, somehow Ellison is a bit more masterful in verbal warfare. But, more importantly, it looks like his software business is backing-up what he is saying.