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J.D. Edwards users oppose Oracle

A poll shows that J.D. Edwards customers back a merger with PeopleSoft but fear that they will have fewer options if Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft succeeds.

J.D. Edwards customers are overwhelmingly opposed to Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft, which plans to merge with J.D. Edwards, according to a poll taken by an organization that represents J.D. Edwards customers.

The group, called Quest, conducted an online poll with J.D. Edwards customers that showed that 80 percent of respondents backed the proposed merger with PeopleSoft. Both companies sell business software for automating corporate processes such as manufacturing and human resources.

Poll respondents also indicated that a takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle would result in fewer options for J.D. Edwards customers, according to Quest, which represents about 2,000 corporate customers. A union with PeopleSoft would be more beneficial to current J.D. Edwards customers, because the two companies' product lines are complementary, according to Quest.

If Oracle is successful in its unsolicited takeover attempt, Quest president David Watts said in a statement Monday that "the loser in the end won't be J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft or Oracle. It will be users, such as those represented by Quest."

PeopleSoft announced its intention to acquire J.D. Edwards for $1.7 billion on June 2 and pledged to create a subsidiary that would support current J.D. Edwards customers.

Only a few days later, Oracle launched a surprise attempt to buy PeopleSoft, which set off a number of lawsuits and a series of public barbs from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards executives critical of the takeover attempt. PeopleSoft's board has rejected both the initial $5.1 billion offer as well as a subsequent offer for $6.3 billion that Oracle tendered last week.

If Oracle's attempt to buy PeopleSoft succeeds, J.D. Edwards customers will be left out of the PeopleSoft fold, and the company itself will face much larger rivals in Oracle and market leader SAP. Public statements from Oracle's top management indicate that, with the buyout offer of PeopleSoft, Oracle intends to remove a competitor, Watts said.