Reuters reports that two sources “familiar with the situation” have said the European Commission might delay Oracle’s $7.4-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Tomorrow the EC will announce whether it will approve the deal, which already has been cleared by US regulators, or will conduct a detailed investigation that could take as long as four months. A lengthy delay would be bad news for many people, with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at the front of the frustrated queue.
Regardless of whether Ellison and his executive team plan to keep or sell Sun’s hardware business, the Oracle chieftain cannot be pleased to watch it twisting in the regulatory wind, its customers all the while exposed to competitive raids by IBM and HP. The longer the EC takes, the more Sun’s hardware business will depreciate as an asset.
That business is taking hits on a daily basis, with IBM and HP offering discounts and other incentives to lure Sun customers into their camps. As noted here earlier today, Sun’s server sales declined sharply in the second quarter of 2009.
Apparently the EC’s antitrust authority has concerns about Oracle’s pending ownership of Sun’s open-source MySQL database software.