Oracle will challenge the US Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit on the grounds that its definition of Oracle’s applications market is unrealistic, Oracle co-president Chuck Phillips said yesterday.
Speaking to a conference of JD Edwards software users, Phillips said Oracle will play to win the ongoing hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, which now owns JD Edwards. The DoJ sued to block the deal Thursday, but Oracle is to fight the move in court.
It is the government’s burden to define the set of customers for which only Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP are the only viable choices, and that are harmed by this transaction Phillips said. And for a variety of reasons we don’t think that is possible.
Phillips said the DoJ’s claim that the proposed merger would reduce the size of the market for big enterprise applications to just two players failed to take into account smaller players, the thriving business process outsourcing market, and Microsoft.
It is that very large category of ‘other’ on the market share chart that currently collectively represents intense competition and innovation, he said, identifying Lawson Software, SSA Global Technologies (Baan) and Geac Computer.
Phillips said that a combined Oracle-PeopleSoft would create a critical mass in certain vertical industries where both companies currently sell. This would allow the company to invest more in supporting those verticals.
He also played up the gradual entry of Microsoft, through $2bn of recent acquisitions, into the enterprise applications market, and the fact that SAP is hugely dominant. To compete, we need similar economies of scale, he said.
While he was speaking at Quest West, the independent JD Edwards user group, Quest said it does not support the proposed merger. PeopleSoft, which no longer recognizes Quest, declined its invitation to attend the event.
Quest is on record opposing the merger between Oracle and PeopleSoft and we are not reversing our stand, Quest president Barbara Schmidt said. We want to provide a neutral forum where users can gain factual information.
In terms of reassuring JDE users, Phillips pointed to Oracle’s continuing support for Rbd, a database product it bought from Digital Equipment almost ten years ago, as evidence of how PeopleSoft customers will be treated.
But he avoided making specific promises on what would happen to JD Edwards users, saying Oracle does not have enough information about PeopleSOft’s own plans.
We don’t have access to PeopleSoft’s current product roadmap for the JD Edwards product line, he said. Pointing out the acquisition deal is a ways ahead, he said: Lots of things can change in JD Edwards product line before we close the deal.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire