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Oracle-Siebel antitrust review gets extension

Extension comes as Department of Justice requests additional information in connection with the deal.

Antitrust regulators on Monday extended the deadline for reviewing Oracle's planned acquisition of Siebel Systems, as the Department of Justice requested additional information in connection with the deal.

The Department of Justice, under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, had faced a deadline of midnight Monday to decide whether to allow the $5.8 billion acquisition of the enterprise software company to move forward, or extend the review process to gather additional information. But whether the Justice Department will move to try to block the acquisition, as it did during Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in 2003, has yet to be seen.

Oracle's battle for PeopleSoft was challenged by the Department of Justice, which cited antitrust violations. However, a U.S. District Court ultimately ruled in Oracle's favor and allowed the protracted deal to close.

With its "second request" for information, the Department of Justice will wait for Oracle to submit data. Once the regulatory agency receives all of the requested information, it will have 15 days to decide whether to let the deal proceed or to challenge it.

"Oracle Corporation announced today that it has received a request for additional information from the United States Department of Justice, pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, in connection with its contemplated acquisition of Siebel Systems," Bob Wynne, Oracle spokesman, said in a statement. "The second request extends the initial 30-day waiting period under the HSR Act that expired today."

Oracle declined to comment further on the Justice Department's decision.