European Commission may delay Sun-Oracle merger

Potential antitrust concerns from the European Commission may delay approval of the Sun-Oracle merger beyond its initial deadline of Thursday, says Reuters report.

The European Commission could delay its decision on the Sun-Oracle deal beyond Thursday's deadline to further investigate antitrust issues, reported Reuters, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Apprehensive about Oracle gaining control of Sun's widely used MySQL database, the Commission's antitrust regulators are currently debating whether to OK the deal by Thursday, the report said. If the Commission launches a full review, it could take as long as four months before a decision is reached, according to Commission rules.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently cleared the merger. But the Justice Department's concerns centered more on licensing issues with Sun's Java software than MySQL.

The companies announced in April a deal in which Oracle would acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash, putting the value of the transaction at about $7.4 billion.

The competition has already taken advantage of the uncertainty over the Sun-Oracle deal. Key players like IBM and Hewlett-Packard have offered discounts and other incentives to lure Sun customers. They've also floated the idea that Oracle may have a tough time trying to manage a hardware manufacturer like Sun.

Sun's worldwide server sales have already been hurt, with the company capturing only 10 percent of the overall server market on sales of just $981 million for the second quarter, a drop of more than 37 percent from the year-ago quarter.

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