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Attorneys sketch schedule for Oracle trial

Industry observers following the year-long saga of the company's hostile bid for PeopleSoft can get close to the action starting next week.

Don't change that channel.

Industry observers following the year-long saga of Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft can get close to the action starting next week, when the Justice Department's antitrust challenge goes to court. The trial begins at 8:30 a.m. PT Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

In the first week, the Justice Department is expected to seek testimony from executives at companies including Cox

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The judge's line of questioning will be
a key indicator of whether he's inclined
to overrule a federal challenge to
Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft.

Communications and Microsoft. Douglas Burgum, a senior vice president of Microsoft's business solutions group, may be among the Justice Department witnesses who take the stand. The agency's videotaped deposition of Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison also may be shown that week.

The department expects to use the second week of trial to call on its list of expert witnesses such as Marco Iansiti, a business professor from Harvard University; Ken Elzinga, a University of Virginia economics professor; and Preston McAfee, a business economics professor with the California Institute of Technology.

Department of Justice officials expect their case to wrap up by June 18. Oracle would then call on its list of 25 witnesses through July 2.

Among those scheduled to make an appearance over the course of those two weeks are Ellison; Oracle's Safra Catz, co-president; Steve Mills, IBM's top software executive; and Craig Conway, PeopleSoft chief executive. Conway is expected to take the stand beginning June 29 for up to six hours of testimony.