European regulators have moved up their timetable and will decide Tuesday if Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report can continue its drive to acquire business software rival PeopleSoft (PSFT) .

If the European Union approves the hostile takeover, it will have removed the last regulatory barrier standing between the two companies. A U.S. District Court judge in September ruled against the Department of Justice's lawsuit aimed at blocking the takeover.

"I will make a proposal (Tuesday) and will not elaborate on what it will be," EU antitrust chief Mario Monti told reporters Friday.

The EU initially opposed the merger, but after gathering more information about the software market and seeing the results of the U.S. trial, it is now expected to clear the takeover. A majority of PeopleSoft's shareholders still must approve the deal; at last count only about 5% had tendered their shares.

Oracle extended its offer for PeopleSoft on Thursday but left the price unchanged at $21 a share, or $7.7 billion. The offer, which has been repeatedly extended since Oracle launched its bid in June 2003, now extends through Nov. 5.

It wasn't immediately clear why the decision was moved up from the end of the month.

Both companies lost a bit of ground Friday in light trading: Oracle's shares closed off 13 cents, or 1%, to $12.31. PeopleSoft was off 28 cents, or 1.4%, to $20.15.