Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sun-Oracle deal gets OK from US Justice Dept

Business software maker Oracle Corp said it has received the Justice Department's approval to move forward with its $7.4 billion acquisition of former dot-com-era star Sun Microsystems Inc.

The deal still needs to get the go-ahead from the European Commission.

Clearance by the Justice Department had been held up over questions about the licensing of Java, a programming language that Sun invented that now runs on more than 7 billion electronic devices around the world, including cell phones and personal computers.

Sun's shareholders approved the deal in July. Another potential antitrust question could surround Sun's MySQL database, an open-source product. Some worry Oracle could make MySQL a lower priority as it tries to boost sales of its market-leading database software.

Sun's performance had been shaky for nearly a decade before Oracle outbid IBM Corp. for the Santa Clara, California-based company in April. IBM is one of Oracle's biggest database software rivals, and is a major Sun rival in computer servers.

The Sun acquisition will give Oracle more control over the development of Java, a key technology used in its products, and also thrust the Redwood Shores, California-based company into hardware, a new area for Oracle.

The Justice Department's approval was expected. Oracle's stock rose 17 cents to $22.11 in after-hours trading, having finished the regular trading session up 16 cents to close at $21.94.

Agencies

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