Court Clash Looms for DOJ, Oracle

March 1, 2004

[From internetnews.com]

Analysis: When DoJ Assistant Attorney General R. Hewitt Pate announced his intentions to block Oracle's $9.4 billion bid for applications rival PeopleSoft, (Quote, Chart) it marked the next turn on what could be a long path to redefining the enterprise software market.

Now that Oracle (Quote, Chart) has vowed to take the Department of Justice head on, the handicapping and analysis of Oracle's next moves are underway.

Oracle has claimed the DoJ's decision is based on a limited view of competition in the applications market, where companies and government agencies are seen as relying on Oracle, PeopleSoft and market leader SAP to automate their business processes -- especially human resources and finance applications for large enterprises.

Now DoJ and Oracle are headed for a court showdown. The DoJ must prove that it is fair and accurate to define the market as dominated by three large enterprise application companies. Oracle is expected to argue that there are several powerful players beyond the big three that are often cited, as well as mid-tier players that also provide business customers with choice.

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