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$24-a-share offer for



set to expire late Friday night, the database giant has thrown cold water on the notion that the price could go higher. "People should not expect that it will go up, or that we might take it down," Oracle CFO Harry You said Monday.

Speaking to investors on a conference call hosted by Glass Lewis, a proxy advisory firm, You repeated Oracle's position that it will walk away from the 17-month-old M&A battle if more than 50% of PeopleSoft's shares aren't tendered by the deadline.

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As if to underscore the seriousness of the threat, Oracle Co-President Charles Phillips told

that he is meeting this week with other potential acquisition targets. During the Department of Justice's ultimately unsuccessful bid to stop the hostile takeover via a lawsuit earlier this year,

Oracle's "shopping list" for other software companies was introduced as evidence.

Analysts believe that struggling

BEA Systems


, which develops application servers and other enterprise infrastructure, is high on the Redwood City, Calif.-based company's list.

Both Oracle and PeopleSoft closed the day in the losing column. Oracle regained some share price after the postclose conference call, while PeopleSoft lost a bit more.