Updated with information from Ericsson
) -- As
with the European Commission over its
begins, the database giant is said to have lined up some big names to support its case.
Citing a person familiar with the closed-door hearing, the
The Financial Times
as well as the U.K's National Health Service (NHS) will line up behind Oracle in an attempt to allay the E.C.'s competition concerns.
Vodafone and the NHS have not yet responded to
request for comment, although an Ericsson spokesman confirmed that the phone giant is supporting Oracle at the Brussels hearing. Oracle shares rose 64 cents, or 2.94%, to $22.59 Thursday, far outpacing the broader tech market as the Nasdaq rose 0.61%. Sun's shares, however, dipped 2 cents, or 0.23%, to $8.53.
E.C. officials recently issued a formal
as regulators voiced their
taking control of
Sun's MySQL technology, which has strong links to the open source community.
, has already spoken out in support of the database giant, dismissing the E.U.'s antitrust concerns. In an interview with
The Financial Times
earlier this week, Steve Mills, IBM's software chief, said that MySQL poses "little direct challenge" to Oracle and IBM's databases.
Despite the European Commission's much-publicized objections to the deal, competition commissioner
is said to be
of striking a compromise with Oracle at the two-day hearing.
Kroes' comments earlier this week are a stark contrast to the recent
between Oracle and the
, with both sides
over MySQL and the software market. In a statement released just last month, Oracle vowed to oppose the E.C. and said that it was confident of its ability to clinch "unconditional clearance" for the Sun merger.
The Wall Street Journal
reported Wednesday that
are expected to voice their opposition to the Sun acquisition at the E.C. hearing.
The two software giants have not yet responded to
request for comment on this story.
MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius is also said to be attending the enquiry. The Finnish computer guru was a co-founder of MySQL AB, which Sun bought for $1 billion in January 2008. Now the CEO of software firm Monty Program Ab, Widenius has been vocal in backing the E.C.'s stance.
, which competes with Oracle, Microsoft's SQL and
DB2, is one of Sun's core technologies. The MySQL database helps power many open-source software projects such as WordPress, and the E.C. is worried about behemoth Oracle controlling such a key technology.
Oracle, however, recently denied a
that it is willing to create a separate unit to house Sun's contentious
"This is a strong Commission, a principled commissioner and -- most importantly -- a clear case," wrote Florian Mueller, a former MySQL shareholder, in an email to
. "Short of a divestiture of MySQL, I find it extremely hard to see what could really eliminate the serious concerns that have been identified."
-- Reported by James Rogers in New York