Justice Department: Oracle, Sun Not Getting Hitched Just Yet

Includes: JAVA, ORCL
by: The Lonely Economist

Here we are, in a dingy little chapel on the Las Vegas Strip ready to see the shotgun wedding between the cool, suave Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) and the delicate, sensitive Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA). The groom, Oracle, looks bored and ready to get it over with while the bride, Sun Microsystems, looks like she expects someone to ruin her lovely wedding.

The priest at the gaudy alter is asking those in attendance (the investors from both companies): “If there is someone who wishes to protest this wedding, speak now or forever hold you peace.”

Several seconds pass by as everyone holds their breath and all is silent, then just as we’re all ready to release one giant sigh of relief: “BAM!”

Oh Boy, it’s the Antitrust Regulators.

On Friday, U.S Antitrust Regulators asked for more information concerning Oracle’s deal to purchase Sun Microsystems. In particular, they are asking for more information about Java’s licensing. The regulators have no problem with Oracle’s purchase of Sun’s database or software, but they do have questions concerning Java.

Several experts within the field are surprised to see the delay, but truthfully many were expecting some sort of objection to come forth. Oracle Corp. is one of the world’s largest software makers and Sun Microsystems owns some of the world’s most popular technologies: Java and MySQL for example.

Oracle offered to buy Sun Microsystems after Sun’s talks with IBM deteriorated. The major reason behind this deterioration was that one of the conditions that IBM demanded was that if the Justice Department brought forth any objections, IBM would be allowed to pull out of the purchase.

The delicate and sensitive Sun Microsystems said: “Nope, I won’t let you leave me.”

IBM replied: “Thanks but no thanks” and pulled out before the marriage even started.

It doesn’t matter whether IBM decided to stick it through, or if Oracle got that chance to buy Sun. The problem was and is: “What are they going to do with Java”? That was it really, because Java is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. It’s a huge bargaining chip and the Justice Department wants to make sure that they don’t take advantage of that power.

In the end though, it’s no surprise the Antitrust Regulators are yelling: “I protest this wedding!” They were going to do it anyway, no matter whom Sun Microsystems was getting hitched to.