22 January 2010 | Helen Gilbert
The European Commission has cleared the way for database vendor Oracle to complete its planned acquisition of US technology supplier Sun Microsystems.
Regulators had feared the planned $7.4 billion (£4.6 billion) takeover announced in April last year would reduce competition. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft currently control 85 per cent of the database market.
However, an EC investigation that began in September 2009 concluded the transaction would “not significantly impede effective competition” in the European Economic Area.
In 2008, Sun acquired the open-source database MySQL but the EC probe showed that although MySQL and Oracle compete in certain parts of the database market, they are not close competitors in others, such as the high-end segment.
Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalise important assets and create new and innovative products.”