The winter of Larry Ellison’s discontent is now made glorious summer by this Union of Europeans – or in modern English (not my badly twisted Shakespearian quote): the European Union (EU) has finally officially approved the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. 

Those wanting to hear the king’s own interpretation of what this means can tune into an Oracle webcast next Wednesday January 27. 

The EU had blocked the Sun deal just before Oracle OpenWorld last September.  That did not stop a somewhat annoyed Larry Ellison from inviting Sun founder Scott McNealy to make a bittersweet appearance at OpenWorld but it did seriously limit what any of the Oracle executives could say about the implications of becoming a hardware company.  Ellison has said many times in the past that he did not want Oracle to get into the hardware market.  It will be interesting to hear his explanation of why now is the right time to reverse that longstanding policy. 

The official quote from EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was “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 revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products.” 

“The commission’s in-depth investigation 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.  Given the open source nature of MySQL, the Commission also assessed Oracle’s ability and incentive to remove the constraint exerted by MySQL after the merger and the extent to which this constraint could, if necessary, be replaced by other actors on the database market.” 

The EU also decided “The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns in respect of the licensing of IP rights connected with Java.” 

Technically, Oracle is also looking for legal approval from China and Russia but is confident enough that they will fall in line this week to schedule the webinar next week. 

As this important story continues to evolve count on The JDE Advisor to make sense of it for you.