DOJ extends investigation into Oracle-Sun deal

The Department of Justice wants more time to consider Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but Oracle is confident the deal will still go through without problem.

Jennifer Guevin
Jennifer Guevin Managing Editor / Reviews
Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.
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The Department of Justice has decided to extend its investigation into the company's proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems, according to a brief statement put out late Friday.

The Justice Department's 30-day window for looking into the $7.4 billion deal was set to expire Friday. Instead of approving the acquisition, the Justice Department informed Oracle that it is extending that deadline, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, the move likely just means final details are being ironed out before the Justice department will give the acquisition its stamp of approval. The news did not change Oracle's optimism that the deal will be approved.

"We've had a very good dialogue with the Department of Justice and we were almost able to resolve everything before the Second Request deadline," said Dan Wall, an attorney with Latham & Watkins who counsels Oracle. "All that's left is one narrow issue about the way rights to Java are licensed that is never going to get in the way of the deal. I fully expect that the investigation will end soon and not delay the closing of the deal this summer."

The acquisition was announced on April 20, shortly after Sun rejected a buyout offer from IBM causing Big Blue to withdraw its offer.

Sun investors will vote in a special shareholder meeting scheduled for July 16 on the proposed merger with Oracle. Sun's board, which has already approved the merger, is urging stockholders to approve the deal--a majority vote is needed. It is widely expected to go through, though some Sun shareholders have filed three separate class action lawsuits to block the deal, the company revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in May.