Christmas is far away, but
CEO Larry Ellison spoke about his holiday shopping list in federal court Monday, and it includes software makers
and eight others.
Ellison's remarks were revealed Monday via a videotaped deposition, played during the trial of the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit to block Oracle's proposed $7.7 billion takeover of
. He called Siebel his No. 2 target -- after PeopleSoft -- and recounted an unconfirmed assertion that Siebel Founder and CEO Tom Siebel "came over to my house and offered to sell me Siebel Systems."
Ellison's testimony was taped in May; 13 months earlier, according to a previously confidential Oracle document also made public Monday, the company's board of directors made up a much larger list of potential acquisitions. In addition to BEA Systems and Siebel, the list included:
Oracle's current interest in some of the companies is hard to gauge; speaking informally outside the courtroom, an Oracle executive was noncommittal, noting that "Oracle is always looking at potential acquisitions." Still, the company struggled to keep the list private, but was overruled by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who will decide the case.
Ellison said that PeopleSoft was in his sights because "they have got a large customer base, a larger and more important customer base than our second choice, which would be Siebel."
A number of companies also on the list were subsequently purchased by other suitors, including J.D. Edwards, now part of PeopleSoft, and Documentum, now owned by
Earlier Monday, an antitrust expert testified that the disappearance of PeopleSoft from the so-called big three application vendors would cause prices for high-end software to increase by as much as 30%.
Preston McAfee, an economics professor at the California Institute of Technology, said that PeopleSoft, Oracle and
compete vigorously and often give customers substantial discounts as a way to win their business.
The government is attempting to block Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft on the grounds that it would damage competition in the market for high-end business software.