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Oracle expects EC to approve Sun takeover bid

Sunny side up as Q2 results outshine forcecast

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Database giant Oracle expects European Commission antitrust watchdogs to give the thumbs up to the company's multi-billion takeover bid for Sun Microsystems after Christmas.

"We expect the European Commission to unconditionally clear the acquisition of Sun in January," said Oracle president Safra Catz yesterday, as the firm reported its second quarter results.

"I want to thank all of our customers for the overwhelming support they have given us during this process," she said.

Her comments followed a statement from the Brussels' competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes earlier this week, who confirmed the EC was "optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome."

In an effort to ease regulatory concerns about Oracle's $7bn bid to buy Sun Microsystems, which owns the extremely popular open source MySQL database, the company spun out a 10-point plan aimed at calming customers' nerves about the future of MySQL.

On Monday Oracle said it would “publicly commit” to making MySQL’s storage engine APIs available to vendors. It also declared a number of licence promises, including “non-assertion” and “to enhance MySQL in the future under the GPL”.

Oracle added that support would not be forced on customers who wanted to obtain a commercial licence for the database.

The firm reported (PDF) yesterday that its net profit had climbed 12 per cent to $1.46bn in Q2, on revenue up four per cent on the same quarter a year earlier at $5.86bn. Wall Street had predicted sales of $5.69bn for the quarter ended 30 November.

"We delivered results which were substantially better than we expected on both the top and bottom line," said Oracle chief financial officer Jeff Epstein.

"Our solid top line growth, coupled with disciplined expense management, was key in generating $8.4bn of free cash flow over the last 12 months," he added. ®

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