With the final hurdle regarding the MySQL database cleared, Oracle today announced it has completed the deal to acquire Sun Microsystems.
Now that the deal is complete, Oracle claims it will put more research money, more development money and more marketing money behind MySQL. Charles Phillips, president of Oracle, said that the merger with Sun will primarily provide extended market reach for Oracle. At a media event today, Phillips met with customers and the press to explain where the merger would take Sun.
Most of his discussion focused on the integration of hardware and software, but also touched on vertical market-specific application stacks and infrastructure. Phillips likened the post-merger Oracle to the IBM of the 1960s. He said that IBM had offered completely engineered systems from software to hardware, and that the IBM of the 1960s produced reliable equipment that served as the gold standard of the day.
Many of the changes Phillips discussed were around Sun’s supply and sales chain. Phillips said that Oracle is currently in the process of hiring 2,000 new salespeople, all of whom will be compensated on a new margin-based compensation plan, which Phillips said would make Oracle’s salespeople the best-compensated salespersons in the technology world. He also said that Oracle was immediately commencing a 70-city tour to meet with customers.
But MySQL remained off of the table for most of the day, as Oracle and Sun executives spent their time discussing software and hardware integrations, as well as proposed reorganizations of Sun’s service and support offerings.
The acquisition had been hung up by the European Commission, which believed the deal to be anti-competitive on the database front. Finally, on Jan. 21, the EC (the executive arm of the European Union) was convinced the deal would not harm competition. EC competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement: “I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalise important assets and create new and innovative products.”
The statement also explained the competition commissioner’s decision. “The Commission’s investigation showed that another open-source database, PostgreSQL, is considered by many database users to be a credible alternative to MySQL and could be expected to replace to some extent the competitive force currently exerted by MySQL on the database market.
“In addition, the Commission found that ‘forks’ (branches of the MySQL code base), which are legally possible given MySQL’s open-source nature, might also develop in future to exercise a competitive constraint on Oracle in a sufficient and timely manner.”