EU regulator may block Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems: report

After European regulators opened an in-depth investigation in September on the $7.4-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems by software major Oracle, (See: Sun-Oracle deal hits EU hurdle) the European Commission may issue a formal objection to the deal, the London-based Financial Times reported today.

FT said that the California-based software giant Oracle's refusal to offer concessions to European antitrust regulators on its planned $7.4-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, (See: Oracle trumps IBM, acquires Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billionmay lead to a formal objection to the deal from the European Commission.

The paper said that the US software company's refusal to offer any concessions to European regulators to meet their concerns about the deal, citing one person close to the process, has left Brussels close to issuing an official statement of objections, the first step on the path to blocking it.

Sources told the FT that the complaint could come within days, but there is still a chance that one side or the other will back down.

If the European Commission issues an objection, it will inevitably delay the entire review process, which Oracle says it can ill afford since it is losing $100 million a month waiting for the deal to be approved.

In a recent speech in Silicon Valley, Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison said that Sun was losing around $100 million a month since rivals like International Business Machines and Hewlett-Packard were picking on Sun's customers, who seemed uncertain about the company's future.