EU to Investigate Oracle’s Acquisition of MySQL

By Craig Buckler

EU Oracle MySQLJust when you thought everything was quiet in Europe, the EU Commission strikes back. Now that Microsoft has been forced into submission, they’ve turned their sights on Oracle and will examine the company’s intentions for MySQL.

The Commission regulators have expressed “serious concerns” that the deal could result in higher prices for database software. Oracle made their fortune from database products and is the world’s second largest enterprise software company. The EU is concerned that Oracle could damage the development and distribution of MySQL — the world’s most popular open-source database system.

According to Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Competition:

The Commission has to examine very carefully the effects on competition in Europe when the world’s leading proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open-source database.

Oracle acquired MySQL following a surprise $7.4 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems in April 2009 after negotiations with IBM broke down. The deal gives Oracle full control over Sun’s hardware and backup solutions, the Java programming language, VirtualBox Virtual Machine software, and OpenOffice — the open-source office suite. The company intends to transform itself into a comprehensive systems provider and compete directly with IBM and HP.

The EU investigation will delay the Sun takeover for at least 90 days. We’ll need to wait a little longer to find out MySQL’s fate.

Will Oracle continue to support MySQL development? Does the deal mark the beginning of the end for the database? Is the EU Commission right to meddle in Oracle’s affairs?

Related reading:

  • Is the EU Commission right to meddle in Oracle’s affairs?

    Absolutely. If they think the IE browser and a media player – both free, consumer products – can stifle competition, then just imaging the effect for companies that depend on mySQL (and yes, there are many). If Oracle would slow the development of mySQL, it creates an imbalance and those that depend on mySQL to run their business solutions would find themselves at a potentially costly crossroads.

    The commission should be commended for making sure they’re towing the line and not stifling the development – whether intentional or not.

    As stupid as I thought the whole Microsoft fiasco was, at least the commission is being consistent.

  • Thank goodness someone that can do something about this is looking into it.

    When I first saw the news about the buyout I had serious concerns. I’m still a bit worried.

  • Hope someone from oracle can explain their agenda behind this plan.

  • I don’t buy the idea that Oracle will crush MySQL. It’s not as if MySQL’s userbase really makes a dent on Oracle’s Big Fat Scary Enterprise userbase; the needs of each are quite different. Also, Oracle didn’t really bugger up InnoDB.

    If anything I think the waiting around will kill more potential MySQL business. Who wants the uncertainty?

  • Amin Ramjee

    Good idea about MySQL. Really oracle is more essential. Thanks for shearing this.

  • benjo

    Oracle products are expensive, very expensive, and Oracle seeks to make much money (millions) Sun’s fall was very sad, it’s incredible that Oracle has Java, Mysql, Solaris and many projects in your hands (or claws?)

    Mysql can disappear, there are many articles on the web that talk about it:

    I think that Mysql community will be fragmented into several projects and will no longer be what it was, was talk about some alternatives as MariaDB or Drizzle, besides some comments in mysql-forum about people who are migrating to SQLServer by this uncertainty about the future of MySQL

    ZendCart, OsCommerce, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and many other great projects use Mysql, would be interesting to hear their position.

    I hope that the European Union take the necessary steps and find alternative solutions to the future of Sun’s key projects: Java, Mysql, Solaris, Netbeans, OpenOffice etc …

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