Oracle/Sun merger appealed

On 1 July 2010, Monty Program Ab (a company founded by a founder of MySQL, the open source database provider acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008) appealed the European Commission’s decision clearing the merger between Oracle and Sun Microsystems (See Newsletter 1/2010, p. 7).

Monty Program claims that the Commission wrongly considered Oracle’s pledges (i.e. public undertakings, yet not legally binding commitments) of future behavior vis-à-vis customers, users, and developers of MySQL concerning issues such as the continued release of future versions of MySQL, as new “factual elements” allowing the removal of all competition concerns and an unconditional clearance decision. Also, Monty Program criticizes the Commission for having failed to market test Oracle’s pledges and having incorrectly assessed the effects of those pledges on Oracle post-merger.

Finally, Monty Program claims that the Commission erred in its assessment that even if Oracle were to remove MySQL (Sun Microsystems’ main database software product) from the market following the merger, other open source database vendors would replace the competitive constraint exerted by MySQL. [Gabriele Accardo]