Brussels to rule on Oracle-Peoplesoft deal by May 11

Deadline back on for investigation

The European Commission will decide before 11 May whether the proposed takeover of Peoplesoft by Oracle breaks its competition laws.

The EC is concerned that a merger will leave only two companies, Oracle and SAP, in finance and human resources software. An investigation was announced in November 2002 and was due to report by the end of March. That date was put on hold while the comissioners collected more information from the companies concerned.

The takeover, still bitterly opposed by the Peoplesoft board of directors, must still pass US regulators. According to reports on Yahoo Peoplesoft is expecting to hear from US authorities by 2 March.

In February Oracle increased its offer for Peoplesoft by $2bn to $9.4bn but PeopleSoft directors still refused the deal.

More unwelcome pressure on PeopleSoft came from its outspoken user group Quest. Quest has invited Oracle co-president Charles Phillips to talk to members about the proposed merger. ®

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