Feeds

SAP rejects blackmail charges over Oracle letter

We never done nothing

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

SAP has rejected suggestions made in The Wall Street Journal that it was effectively trying to blackmail Oracle by claiming it could influence the investigation by the European Commission.

The editorial cited a previously-secret letter from SAP's chief executive Leo Apotheker sent to Larry Ellison at Oracle which said:

"As you know, we have significant concerns about Oracle's proposed takeover of Sun. We renew our invitation to meet to attempt to resolve our concerns and other open issues between our companies. Please let us know if and when you would like to meet."

The letter was sent 15 September, shortly after the European Commission began investigating Oracle's takeover bid for Sun. The WSJ did not reveal who had given it the letter.

This seemed to have been enough for the normally plodding paper to decide:

Mr. Apotheker either believed, or wanted Oracle to believe, that he could smooth the merger review if he so desired. Nothing came of the offer, and the Commission now seems poised to block the deal. Only the antitrust mandarins in Brussels know for sure if they'd act differently if Mr. Ellison had accepted Mr. Apotheker's "invitation."

SAP rejected this interpretation and said the letter referred to concerns it had about the future of the Java programming language.

SAP told us:

"We always said that we want openness and choice. SAP has raised its concerns about the future open licensing of Java as well as about customer choice in the database market. We communicated our concerns already to Sun and Oracle at the working level end of July 2009. Since there was no reaction, Léo Apotheker took the initiative and wrote to both CEOs in the middle of September to attempt to resolve the issues. SAP has raised its concerns with the EU Commission as well. And we will continue to cooperate with the EU Commission and other anti-trust authorities in a transparent and open manner in the interest of choice for our customers and partners."

Meanwhile the European Commission has also hit back at mutterings from the Department of Justice - which has already approved the deal.

The EC launched a formal probe earlier this week and its spokesman described the DoJ comments as an unusual departure - regulators usually follow the protocol of not commenting on each other's ongoing investigations. The Commission has said it is more concerned with the future of open source database MySQL than what happens to Java.

Oracle has been criticised by legal observers for insisting on trying to push the deal through in August - when much of Brussels, and the rest of Europe, is heading to the beach. Getting decisions, or even getting hold of the people who make those decisions, is all but impossible when only the lowliest officials will still be at their desks.

The WSJ editorial is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.