) --


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report

acquisition of

Sun Microsystems


may be rejected by the European Commission, according to a report.

Oracle is bracing for a formal objection from the EU to its planned deal for Sun, escalating the company's legal wrangle with Europe's competition authorities,

The Financial Times

reported late Tuesday. Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun was first announced in April, and was approved by Sun's stockholders on July 16.

The software giant has refused to offer any concessions to European regulators to meet their concerns about the deal, the


reported, citing one person close to the process. That has left the EU close to issuing an official statement of objections, the first step on the path to blocking it, the report added.

Antitrust concerns have sprung up over the licensing of Sun's Java programming language, used in billions of devices from mobile phones to PCs. In August, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the buyout.

The complaint could come within days, but there is still a chance that one side or the other will back down, the paper added.


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noted that commission officials confirmed last month that, in spite of "repeated requests", Oracle has not provided them with evidence that the deal would not cause competition problems.

The European Commission last blocked a U.S. merger in 2001, when

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company (GE) Report

looked to acquire


(HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. (HON) Report


Before Oracle stepped in with its offer for Sun, rival


(IBM) - Get International Business Machines (IBM) Report

had reportedly been pursuing the beleaguered tech company, with discussions falling apart over price.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York


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