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Signs from EU not positive for Oracle and Sun

Simon Quicke

The temperature in relationships between the EC and Sun and Oracle is hitting fresh lows as the European body indicates that not enough has been done to calm competition concerns.

According to wire reports the EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has warned Oracle that it has not done enough to assuage doubts that the tie-up between itself and Sun would be good for the database market.

In comments attributed to a spokesman speaking on her behalf the main complaint seems to be around the apparent lack of hard evidence that Oracle has sent in challenging competition fears.

The reaction from Kroes comes just a day after Sun blamed the EC for triggering the need to can 3,000 jobs.

The latest round of redundancies come on top of the 6,000 job cuts Sun made public last year.

The impact of the Kroes stance impacted share prices and raised fears that when it comes to January and a time to make a decision it could well be a difficult outcome for Oracle.

Oracle announced in April 2009 that it would buy Sun for $7.4bn, but the merger has been held up by EU antitrust regulators.

The proposed takeover of Sun has cleared the US authorities and had been expected to get the thumbs up from the EC this summer. The decision for a competition review to be carried out has pushed the deal completion date back to next year at the earliest.

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