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Oracle-Sun: Gartner Suspects EC of Ulterior Motives

Donald Feinberg says either the EC knows zip about open source or there’s “another agenda”

Gartner database analyst Donald Feinberg [pictured below giving a recent webinar that's still available for online viewing] and his colleague George Weiss told Cnet that the only reason the European Commission is holding up the Oracle-Sun deal on the pretext of investigating Oracle’s intentions on MySQL is “political” and “protectionist” – as though the rest of us didn’t know that already.

Feinberg says either the EC knows zip about open source – since the Maria DB MySQL fork would take over for MySQL if Oracle neglected it – or there’s “another agenda” – and introduces the specter of Oracle abandoning the deal, leaving Sun in the devastating lurch.

And “Who would benefit?” he’s asked. Well, “All the hardware companies out there, including the European hardware companies.”

He suspects that the EC is acting at the bidding of Oracle rivals like IBM and HP and to protect European vendors such as SAP, Bull, Software AG, even Fujitsu with its large European presence.

And he’s pretty sure the EC really wants to “stop this deal.”

Feinberg suggests that because Sun had negative 40% growth last quarter – and with every Sun competitor trying to raid its installed base – “at some point Oracle has to ask the question, do they still want to buy the company?”

He also suspects that the EC will drag the investigation out as long as possible unless it’s forced to “yield to market pressure.”

“You have to ask yourself,” he says, “if Larry Ellison and Charles Phillips just get so fed up with this whole thing that they throw their arms up in the air and say it’s not worth it. I would suspect the frustrations have to be running pretty high inside Oracle right now.”

He doesn’t think Oracle will stand for any demand to divest MySQL or much of any other concessions, leaving Sun to dangle in the wind and the longer the deal is up in the air the more Sun users will bolt.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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