Oracle finally gets the EC nod for Sun Microsystems acquisition

After a 10-month stand-off with European regulators, software giant Oracle Corporation finally won unconditional approval today for its $7.4-billion acquisition of computer maker Sun Microsystems.

Neelie Kroes''I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved in all the markets concerned,'' European Competition Commissioner (EC) Neelie Kroes said in a statement in Brussels. ''Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products.''

Oracle, the second-biggest software maker after Microsoft, won unconditional approval after it pledged to address the regulator's concerns on the maintenance of MySQL last month. (See: Oracle pledge may break Sun Microsystems logjam at EC)

Threatening to derail one of the biggest tech deals of last year, the European Union's Brussels-based antitrust watchdog, the EC had issued a statement of objections on 10 November 2009, drawing criticism not only from Oracle but also US regulators. (See: EU regulator lists objections to Oracle-Sun merger)

The US Department of Justice had approved the acquisition in August, although it had extended its review of the deal to seek more information since it was concerned about Sun's licensing of Java, the programming language that runs on more than seven billion electronic devices globally including mobile phones and PCs.

Redwood City, California-based Oracle, seeking to strengthen its position against its bigger rival IBM, stepped in to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in April after IBM's attempt to buy the beleaguered server and hardware maker fell apart. (See: Oracle trumps IBM, acquires Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion