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What’s Next for Oracle-Sun?

The European Commission is reportedly supposed to wave Sun’s acquisition through on January 19

Intellectual Property on Ulitzer

It's apparently all over but the shouting at Oracle and Sun.

The European Commission is reportedly supposed to wave Sun's acquisition through on January 19.

In the process it'll have to explain how it came to change its mind after needlessly costing the company hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs - well, at least that's the Oracle-Sun story.

We always figured Oracle would have had to can those people anyway to wring $1.5 billion in operating profits out of the joint like it said it would. And now UBS analyst Brent Thill says it'll fire ~13,800 Sun people in the next few weeks.

Okay, one thing at a time. Remember that Oracle impugned the EC's honor and accused it of twisting, cherry-picking and ignoring evidence it collected during its antitrust investigation of the merger to match its open source biases.

Oracle even brought big company witnesses to Brussels to tell the EC to its face that their opinions of potential competitive harm was not what the EC represented them to be.

Well, the EC can't very well acknowledge that Oracle had it by the short hairs and that - if it didn't go along with the merger - Oracle could have made a stink that might have weakened its structure as judge, jury and executioner now can it?

That's where the Oracle-provided wallpaper comes in. The 10 promises about MySQL that Oracle made after the hearing in December handed the EC its cover story. It can plead "new facts" in the case.

Ironically, the EC's advisory committee of the 27 national EU regulators that met this week to vote on the acquisition reportedly wanted the EC to say that, in the end, its case wasn't strong enough rather than position Oracle's undertakings as "new facts" that changed the game. It's assumed the EC won't follow that advice.

Anyway, that hurdle all but cleared, what's Oracle gonna do once it's out of the valley of the shadow of death, so to speak?

Well, from the beginning Larry claimed that the real reason he wanted Sun was Java. In that case he's got a little problem percolating in Javaville and it involves Google. It'll be curious to see what happens.

Since the EC tied the Oracle-Sun acquisition up in knots, Google has been trying to buy On2, which gives Java FX, the embedded Java widgetry that Larry has said he's interested in making a buck off of, its cross-platform encoding and hardware-based decoding audio/video competency, a facility that extends to browsers and desktops. It's unique.

Google offered 60 cents a share for the company last year and, although management appeared to be willing the underwater stockholders weren't, and so Google had to go to 75 cents, a measly $126 million in chump change, a few days ago.

The situation is up-in-the-air and likely to remain there for another month - enough time for Oracle to barge in and make sure that Google doesn't proprietize the technology for its own phones and netbooks. Or at least that's the presumption. Google hasn't said what it wants the stuff for and Java desperately needs it.

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More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Most Recent Comments
Editor 01/18/10 12:26:00 PM EST

Hi Maureen, I caught your article on Oracle-Sun and cloud computing. It grabbed my attention being the former CEO of On2 and having personally worked on the Sun licensing deal with On2. Since then I have moved on and have recently joined Velocitude. I too believe in the new cloud computing front, and see the mobile device as the new thin client for the cloud.

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pkyadhati 01/17/10 10:38:00 AM EST

This is a very well written article. I hope the management at Oracle read this and takes action to prevent their loss of this technology to Google.

phuboi 01/15/10 05:45:00 PM EST

I'm surprised Apple and Cisco aren't "all over this" as well. Maybe even Facebook or IBM too. If not, they should all be scrambling to make a trip to Clifton Park NY and kick the tires on VP8. Google most certainly has done this (or why the offer to acquire ON2?). ON2 codec Intellectual Property (IP) is what Google wants. VP8 claims 40% improvement in Bandwidth over H.264. If ON2's IP protects the technology that makes this possible, this is huge. If the IP were not "tight", Google would certainly just hire a couple of the worlds top codec engineers and develop their own, wouldn't they?

Read more at http://c1c.me/on2 "Could a codec be "the golden egg" that impacts bandwidth, storage, and end devices?"

End devices could include Mobile "superphones" , TVs, Tablet PCs. Imagine if the datacenter (at $100M-200M each) filling up with video could hold 40% more video. Efficient codec extending battery life? Imagine how much bandwidth would be saved by wireless service providers (as video is already today choking existing wireless networks.)

I'll be at the Hacker Dojo Job Fair in Silicon Valley tomorrow if anyone from Apple, Cisco, or Facebook want to discuss. Oracle probably already knows why.

spixleatedlifeform 01/15/10 04:14:11 PM EST

Thank you for your perspective on the Google acquisition attempt of On2 Technologies. However, I would like to point out to you and your readers that as far as the shareholders of On2 (ONT) are concerned, not Google, Oracle, Apple, microsift, IBM, Baidu, or any other mega-giga-corporation will acquire On2--at any price--unless and until the perpetrators of the deliberately targeted, destructive, illegal share price manipulation that we have endured for at least the last three years (and continues to this day) are revealed and brought to justice.
All the nasty, dirty details are revealed in the three-part ONT Shareholders White Paper--Introduction,Discussion of Notes and Spreadsheet of Historical Trading Prices, Short Interest, Naked Short Selling, and Fails to Deliver in The Stock of On2 Technologies from April 2004 to October 2009. It may be viewed at:


We will not be intimidated, cajoled, bribed, coerced, tricked, or otherwise threatened into selling until justice is heard.


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