Oracle, Sun Flagged by EU: Tech Rumor of the Day

Antitrust regulators in Europe have Oracle's Sun acquisition in their sights.
Publish date:



-- European regulators have highlighted potential antitrust hurdles in


(ORCL) - Get Report

$7.6 billion acquisition


Sun Microsystems


, according to a

Dow Jones


Citing a person familiar with the matter, Dow Jones reports that the European Union Competition Commission has sent a questionnaire to the firms' competitors that focuses on Sun's


technology, middleware for linking computer programs, and databases.

The companies have until Aug. 13 to respond, according to the report, which says the watchdog group wants to see whether the deal could increase prices and limit choice in the areas mentioned.

Oracle sent


through the tech sector earlier this year when it announced its plans to acquire Sun. The ailing tech giant had originally been a target for


(IBM) - Get Report

, but Oracle stepped in when Big Blue

walked away

from the deal.

The Java technology is seen as one of Sun's key

selling points

, enabling Oracle to bolster its database offerings. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has also promised to keep selling Sun's hardware products, which encompass servers, storage and desktop systems.

With rivals such as


(HPQ) - Get Report

and IBM looking to

pick off

any disgruntled Sun customers, Oracle will be keen to avoid any roadblocks and get the deal completed as quickly as possible.

Media reports, however, say that the EU Commission has until Sept. 3 to decide whether it will clear the merger or start a four-month probe.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the

Department of Justice

extended its own antitrust review, although Oracle has said that the deal should still close by the end of the summer.

Sun declined to provide a comment for this story and Oracle has not yet responded to

's request for comment.

Shares of Oracle rose 35 cents or 1.65%, to $21.56 in Friday trading, mirroring the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq rise 1.81%. Sun's shares, however, dipped slightly, falling 2 cents, or 0.22%, to $9.13.