As federal antitrust regulators and Oracle finalize their lists by May 18, the process is likely to rival the NFL draft. Witness selection comes as the Justice Department and Oracle prepare for the June 7 trial in U.S. District Court. The federal agency earlier this yearto block Oracle's proposed of PeopleSoft.
"Each side has five placeholders that you will expect to swap out. It's kind of like playing a poker hand," a source familiar with the case told CNET News.com on Saturday. The story was first reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.
The Justice Department, for example, has heavily weighted its preliminary list with current PeopleSoft customers, who are expected to discuss their limited options in selecting a vendor to supply enterprise software applications to their respective industry.
Oracle, meanwhile, may focus on bolstering the number of competitors on its list, seeking those who can discuss the fierce competition among a number of players, rather than just Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP.
Justice Department attorneys may look at removing some of their public sector witnesses, such as Erie County, or the District of Columbia, and replace them with additional Oracle executives who were not listed in Oracle's preliminary lineup, the source added.
Oracle's preliminary list includes Ellison, Co-president Safra Catz, and Keith Block, executive vice president of North America, as well as PeopleSoft executives Conway and Phil Wilmington, executive vice president of the Americas.
The Justice Department and Oracle will be allowed to cross examine each other's witnesses, so it would save a precious spot on the witness list not to duplicate the other party's witnesses, the source said.
Federal antitrust regulators, for example, have PeopleSoft Chief Technology Officer Rick Bergquist on their preliminary list, while Oracle does not.
Rounding out the line up for both parties are several economists, the source noted.