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The European Commission has called time out in its investigation into Oracle's takeover of Peoplesoft.

The EC said Oracle had failed to provide evidence of how it negotiates prices with customers without which the investigation cannot continue. The Commission wants evidence of the discounts offered to companies signing big contracts.

The stoppage could be important because it could delay any decision in Europe until after the US courts have ruled on the matter. The EC was due to rule on 11 May - ahead of any decision from the US courts. The US Department of Justice went to court in February and its ruling is due in June.

The Competition Commission is concerned that the market for large scale enterprise software would be reduced by the takeover from three players - Oracle, Peoplesoft and SAP - to just two. It also said potential collusion between the two remaining players would work against the interests of consumers.

Oracle said in a statement: "We can confirm that we have received a request from the European Commission for additional information on our proposed transaction for PeopleSoft. We will continue to cooperate with the Commission and will respond as quickly as possible." ®

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