European Commission opens in-depth investigation in Sun Microsystems / Oracle

On 3 September 2009 the European Commission announced it has opened an in-depth investigation under the EC Merger Regulation of the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation. Competition concerns prompting the in-depth investigation were identified in the market for databases, on which Oracle and Sun offer directly competing products in various sectors.

According to the Commission, Sun’s MySQL, offered as an open source product, is widely seen as an increasingly important competitive constraint in the concentrated database market. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft control approximately 85 % of the market in terms of revenue.

The Commission is concerned that the open source nature of Sun’s

MySQL might not be sufficient for avoiding the competition concerns. Therefore the Commission will, in particular, focus on the incentives of Oracle to further develop MySQL as an open source database. [Juha Vesala]