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PeopleSoft amends suit against Oracle

The software maker amends a lawsuit against Oracle that charges its rival's unwelcome acquisition bid was mainly designed to disrupt its business.

PeopleSoft has amended a lawsuit against Oracle that charges its rival's unwelcome acquisition bid was mainly designed to disrupt its business.

PeopleSoft, based in Pleasanton, Calif., expanded the suit to include "extensive new facts about Oracle management's ongoing acts of unfair trade practices, including its efforts to disrupt PeopleSoft's customer relationships," the company said Tuesday. PeopleSoft initially filed the complaint in California Superior Court in Alameda County on June 13, a week after Oracle launched its hostile buyout plan for PeopleSoft.

The amended suit alleges that Oracle deliberately tried to mislead PeopleSoft customers about Oracle's plans to support PeopleSoft products and interfered with customers of J.D. Edwards, who are soon to become PeopleSoft customers though a recent acquisition.

PeopleSoft has also combined two separate complaints against Oracle filed by J.D. Edwards with its own suit and plans to voluntarily dismiss the suits J.D. Edwards previously filed in other courts.

"PeopleSoft's complaint will continue to seek both injunctive relief and damages, including damage caused to J.D. Edwards," PeopleSoft said in a statement.

Oracle, which recently reaffirmed its $19.50-per-share bid for PeopleSoft, had previously criticized the suits as frivolous and lacking merit. "We were aware they were going to file an amended complaint, so we are not surprised and it does not change our commitment to acquire PeopleSoft," Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said in a statement Tuesday.

PeopleSoft faces a countersuit from Oracle, which seeks removal of PeopleSoft's antitakeover measures.

PeopleSoft management has resisted Oracle's $7.25 billion bid, while hastening its own $1.8 billion merger agreement with J.D. Edwards. All three companies compete in the market for business-automation software, which has recently been struck by merger-and-acquisition fever.

Oracle's exchange offer, which it's extended three times as it awaits regulatory approval, is set to expire on Sept. 19.