EU poised to approve Oracle-Sun deal

Though regulators have until late January to make their decision, sources close to both companies say they expect approval this week.

The European Commission's approval of Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun is imminent. Though EU regulators have until late January to make their decision, sources close to both companies tell me they expect approval this week--perhaps even as early as Wednesday or Thursday. They caution, however, that the EC is nothing if not mercurial; there's always a chance it could fail to reach a quorum, in which case approval will fall closer to the review deadline of January 27.

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Either way, the deal is likely to officially close in early February. And when it does, Oracle and Sun will be well prepared. "The integration team have been working very hard to complete all of the planning and executives on both sides of the merger believe that deal will be approved," one source told me. "The majority of the hiring decisions have been made and the bulk of the product decisions and organization structure is completed."

As part of these preparations, Oracle has written up three e-mail announcements that it plans to distribute to Sun employees. The first, a congratulatory note for employees who will keep their jobs after the transition. The second, a notice of termination alerting employees who will lose their job as a result of it. The third, an offer of a temporary position working through the transition that will likely be distributed to folks working in finance and human resources.

For rank-and-file Sun employees, the second notice is obviously ugly news. Not so for execs, though. The cash payout at the VP and officer level for being let go is quite generous (PDF) and I'm told a certain number of "howls of whoopee" can be expected from folks in those positions who are hoping for a pink slip.

And just how many pink slips are to be distributed? At present, that's unclear. I've heard from some sources that a significant reduction in workforce is almost certain. Others tell me, "layoffs are not going to be anywhere near predictions."

For the sake of Sun's long-suffering employees, let's hope it's the latter.

Reached for comment, Sun declined to offer one. "Sorry, we do not comment on rumors or speculation," a spokesperson told me.

 

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