Oracle Rallies Troops For Sun Hearing - TheStreet

Updated with information from Ericsson

BRUSSELS (

TheStreet

) -- As

Oracle's

(ORCL) - Get Report

hearing

with the European Commission over its

proposed

acquisition

of

Sun

(JAVA)

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

reports that

Ericsson

and

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

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

TheStreet's

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

objection

to the

deal

as regulators voiced their

concern

about Oracle

taking control of

Sun's MySQL technology, which has strong links to the open source community.

Oracle's rival,

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, 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

Neelie Kroes

is said to be

hopeful

of striking a compromise with Oracle at the two-day hearing.

Kroes' comments earlier this week are a stark contrast to the recent

war of words

between Oracle and the

E.C.

, with both sides

trading barbs

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

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

are expected to voice their opposition to the Sun acquisition at the E.C. hearing.

The two software giants have not yet responded to

TheStreet's

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.

MySQL

, which competes with Oracle, Microsoft's SQL and

IBM's

(IBM) - Get Report

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

report

that it is willing to create a separate unit to house Sun's contentious

MySQL database

technology.

"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

TheStreet

. "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