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Oracle's PeopleSoft Takeover Bid Can Go Ahead, Judge Rules

Oracle's PeopleSoft Takeover Bid Can Go Ahead, Judge Rules

Related Links:
  • Oracle Wins
  • A Pox on Oracle and PeopleSoft, Say Two Schools Behind "Kuali"
  • PeopleSoft Quarter Sucks
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"


    Oracle chairman Jeff Henley is triumphant: "This decision puts the onus squarely on the board of PeopleSoft to meet with us," he declared.

    Henley 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. 

    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.

    Analysts are calling the decision a major defeat for the government, which warned that the hostile takeover would be bad for business and bad for consumers, who - it argued - would eventually bear the burden of decreased competition.

    "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."


    Related Links:

  • Oracle Wins
  • A Pox on Oracle and PeopleSoft, Say Two Schools Behind "Kuali"
  • PeopleSoft Quarter Sucks
  • 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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