Oracle Won't Relent On PeopleSoft Bid

The company won't give up on its efforts to buy its business-applications rival, but won't up the ante.
Oracle isn't backing off its effort to acquire PeopleSoft Inc., but it has no plans to raise its current $7.5 billion offer for the business-application vendor. "We think we have a good offer at a fair price," Oracle executive VP Charles Phillips said at a news conference Wednesday at the OracleWorld conference in San Francisco.

Echoing comments made by CEO Larry Ellison on Tuesday, Phillips expressed optimism that the Department of Justice will give its approval to the deal, probably in the October-November time frame. He said Oracle is still supplying materials requested by the government pertaining to the proposed buyout.

Phillips also said he believes that institutional investors favor the deal, but can't move to accept Oracle's offer until after the Justice Department's decision. He also said Oracle has been supplying European Union agencies with information as part of a "pre-notification" process for gaining approval for the deal from those regulatory organizations.

Phillips acknowledged that PeopleSoft's recent $1.7 billion acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co. means that Oracle will have multiple application product lines if the PeopleSoft acquisition succeeds. But he said that by not devoting development resources to significantly expand the capabilities of the PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards applications beyond specific requests from customers, Oracle will have no difficulty meeting support and maintenance requests from either vendor's customer base. And he contrasted that approach with PeopleSoft's current efforts to integrate the two companies' software products.

Phillips also said that if the deal goes through, Oracle won't force PeopleSoft customers that use another vendor's database to switch to Oracle's database.

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