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Europe clears Oracle Sun for take-off

It was open source wot won it

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The European Commission has cleared Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalise important assets and create new and innovative products."

The Commission was especially concerned about the future of MySQL in the event that Oracle took control of Sun. But its investigation found that although the database market is highly concentrated with Oracle, Microsoft and IBM have 85 per cent of the market's revenue, and there are open source alternatives.

It found that PostgreSQL was a credible alternative to MySQL and that 'forks' in the development of MySQL could also provide Oracle with competition. The Commission accepted Oracle's public promises on the continued development of the database software.

As a secondary issue, investigators also looked at the impact of the takeover on Java. It found that Oracle's ability to restrict access to Java intellectual property was limited, and to do so would not benefit the company.

Nor did the Competition Commission find any concerns in the market for middleware and the "IT stack" - market share of the merged firm in this area meant there were no antitrust concerns.

The investigation into the deal by European regulators was raising concerns because the deal has already been approved in the US.

Oracle welcomed the news and said it also expects to win approval in China and Russia which would allow it to close the deal.®

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