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Microsoft to sing at EC Oracle hearing

But what's their tune?

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Microsoft will testify to the European Commission later this week in the ongoing debate on whether the Eurocrats will bless Oracle's Sun-acquisition plans.

A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet that Redmond "can confirm participation at the hearing and that the company has previously responded to inquiry from the Commission about the deal." The hearing will be held this Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Exactly what Microsoft will tell the Commission, however, is far from clear. As ZDNet notes, The Wall Street Journal reports that both Microsoft and SAP "have already told antitrust regulators they oppose the merger."

But why? Certainly, Microsoft's SQL Server competes with Oracle/Sun's MySQL - but one of the EC's reported problems with the acquisition is their fear that Oracle would kill off that open-source database platform.

Wouldn't the death of MySQL be of benefit to Microsoft? After all, one fewer competitor is, well, one fewer competitor.

Or perhaps someone in Redmond read the New York Post's recent report that Oracle's Larry Ellison is so concerned about the EC's peace of mind (his company is bleeding $100m per month while the Eurocrats dilly-dally) that he's thinking of spinning off MySQL into its own business unit just to allay their fears.

Such a more-nimble, Oracle-supported MySQL venture might be what Redmond dreads. And then there's the infuriating fact that MySQL supports .NET applications - Microsoft might simply be not too happy about supplying help to Oracle's ecosystem. ®

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