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SAP coughs $20m to feds in Oracle slurp spat

Ellison's lawyers undaunted as legal orgy continues

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SAP will cough up $20m to resolve the criminal side of its spat with rival Oracle over illegal software downloading by SAP's subsidiary TomorrowNow.

US Department of Justice prosecutors charged the subsidiary with 12 criminal counts in connection with the unlawful slurping of Oracle software. SAP agreed to settle the case, but the cost of the settlement was not publicly revealed.

The plea deal will be formally agreed in court on Wednesday, but a source familiar with the matter told Reuters the sum involved.

This latest round in the ongoing quarrel goes to Oracle after SAP won a reprieve from paying out $1.3bn in damages in a lawsuit over the theft. At the start of the month, a judge ruled that the sum was "grossly excessive" and reduced it to $272m.

Oracle doesn't plan to take this lying down, and said at the time that it intended to "pursue the full measure of damages that we believe are owed".

However, Oracle also has its hands full with a Java patent clash with Google, currently scheduled to be discussed during mediation between Larry Ellison and Larry Page next week. And, of course, the dispute over the extent of its partnership with HP and the obligations it has because of it.

But, don't worry, Oracle's lawyers still found the time to file for permission to appeal the SAP decision on Monday, proving it is possible to fight a war on three fronts.

At the time of publication, Oracle had not responded to a request for comment and SAP spokespeople in the UK said they couldn't confirm the payout figure. ®

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