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Ellison Triumph: Oracle Can Proceed with PeopleSoft Takeover Bid, Court Decides

Though still far from a done deal, PeopleSoft stock climbs 15% on news in after hours trading

Related Links:
  • Oracle Wins
  • Oracle's Numbers Explain Why It Wants PeopleSoft
  • P'Soft to Oracle: What Is It about 'NO!' You Don't Understand?
  • Oracle Eyes Other Acquisitions - Including BEA?
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"

    "This decision puts the onus squarely on the board of PeopleSoft to meet with us," said Oracle chairman Jeff Henley triumphantly.

    He made this statement in response to the release of a 164-page decision by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, in which Walker gave his verdict on the antitrust lawsuit filed seven months ago by the US Justice Department and 10 states seeking to block Oracle's would-be "hostile takeover" of rival PeopleSoft. There aren't sufficient grounds to block it, Walker has decided.

    It will now be incumbent on the PeopleSoft board to meet with Oracle and discuss the acceptance by its shareholders of Oracle's offer, Henley believes. 

    "This is great news for all shareholders," a spokesman for the American Shareholders Association, Daniel Clifton, said on hearing of the decision. "I think it should be up to the PeopleSoft shareholders to decide whether this is good for them, and that's exactly what this judge is allowing."

    The order is stayed for 10 days to allow for a possible appeal, but it was enough to send PeopleSoft stock climbing and seems to bring to end a lawsuit on which Oracle has allegedly spent some $60 million and PeopleSoft even more, some $70 million.

    "Contrary to the characterization of plaintiff's counsel before trial," wrote Judge Walker, "the court found the testimony of the customer witnesses largely unhelpful to plaintiff's effort to define a narrow market."

    "Unsubstantiated customer apprehensions do not substitute for hard evidence," he declared, a reference to the Justice Department's arguments that the planned merger would diminish competition in the market for business software used by companies for such tasks as managing payroll and keeping track of employee records.

    Related Links:

  • Oracle Wins
  • Oracle's Numbers Explain Why It Wants PeopleSoft
  • P'Soft to Oracle: What Is It about 'NO!' You Don't Understand?
  • Oracle Eyes Other Acquisitions - Including BEA?
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"
  • More Stories By Oracle News Desk

    Oracle News Desk trawls the world's news information sources and brings you timely updates on Oracle and its ever-expanding enterprise software portfolio, including its entire range of tools for managing business data, supporting business operations, and facilitating collaboration and application development.

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    Most Recent Comments
    StockWatcher 09/10/04 03:29:17 PM EDT

    Oracle's up 5.34% so far today, but PeopleSoft's up 10.81%

    SimpeLt 09/10/04 03:25:20 PM EDT

    PeopleSoft CEO has a duty to his shareholders to try to make this deal possible - not to get it killed.

    DeeDOg 09/10/04 02:18:16 PM EDT

    Even if there's no appeal by the US Department of Justice, the European Commission has opened its own review of the takeover bid. Oracle still has a fight on its hands!!

    problematical 09/10/04 02:10:33 PM EDT

    How's Oracle going to contend with strong opposition from PeopleSoft's board, specially CEO Craig Conway?

    And what about PeopleSoft's "poison pill" policy, which makes an acquisition impractical by promising significant payouts to current customers if their software is no longer supported?

    Justice at last 09/10/04 09:03:20 AM EDT

    I never understood myself why the DoJ didn't so much as whimper through the entire HP/Compaq merger, yet decided to try and stop Larry & co. pursuing this takeover.

    Unoti 09/10/04 08:15:58 AM EDT

    Working on Oracle applications is like working in a gold mine: you've got to sift through 20 tons of mud to get 6 ounces of gold. Oracle needs healthy competition, but now it could become a monopoly. I'd hate to see it become the the Microsoft of the ERP market.

    nehril 09/10/04 07:52:04 AM EDT

    Oracle has already stated that their only purpose in buying PeopleSoft is to kill the product (along with the JD Edwards software that PeopleSoft has now acquired), the ERP software market now goes from around 4 players down to two (oracle vs sap).

    88rr 09/10/04 07:49:49 AM EDT

    How come the DoJ didn't have a problem with PeopleSoft buying JD Edwards?

    ciro 09/10/04 07:48:39 AM EDT

    Judge Walker is spot-on...Oracle isn't anywhere near a monopoly. Although they are a very strong database vendor, with probably one of the best supported database systems written, but they are competed against by everyone from Microsoft to us open source developers...

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