While Google's patent battles with Apple (AAPL) over similarities between Android devices and the iPhone are getting all the attention, Oracle's shakedown should be taken more seriously.
I guess everyone just figures it will eventually be resolved since the battle with Oracle is just business; it's not personal like the fight with Apple. For now, at least, that may be true. But I wouldn't want to get on the bad side of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Oracle originally sought $6 billion from Google. It may be only a coincidence, but that happens to be just enough to cover the cost of buying Sun Microsystems plus a little more (based on the $5.6 billion price tag net of Sun's cash and debt).While Ellison was delusional to think he could wring that much out of Google - and the judge in the case ultimately said he wouldn't allow that kind of gold digging -- Google CEO Larry Page needs to get some quick lessons in accounting if he thinks he'll be able to buy his way out this jam for less than the $100 million amount that keeps popping up. At the moment, it's just a question of how many zeroes should go at the end of the check Google will write. Page should be careful to avoid letting this turn into a feud with Ellison, who is a take-no-prisoners kind of competitor as we've seen with his assault on HP (HPQ). The bottom line for Page, who's only been in the CEO role since January, is that he shouldn't try to play hardball with Ellison. Just pay the debt and no one gets hurt. --Written by Glenn Hall in New York. For more Outrage, check out the Today's Outrage blog or follow me on Twitter @GlennHall
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