may be ahead in its fight to fend off
hostile takeover bid, but that doesn't mean the name calling has stopped.
On Tuesday, PeopleSoft amended its lawsuit against Oracle, alleging "extensive new facts about Oracle management's ongoing acts of unfair trade practices, including its efforts to disrupt PeopleSoft's customer relationships" and deliberately misleading customers about Oracle's plans to support existing PeopleSoft products.
The fight has been filled with unusually acrimonious statements by both sides since it began in June, and the new complaint is no exception.
"Rather than compete fairly and act in a way to preserve the business of the company it was seeking to acquire, Oracle settled on a scheme to disrupt PeopleSoft's customer base. Instead of focusing its message on the PeopleSoft shareholders to whom the tender offer was ostensibly addressed, Oracle unlawfully contacted PeopleSoft customers and embarked on a campaign of disinformation in an attempt to cripple PeopleSoft's ability to sell its software and to poach its customers," the complaint says.
PeopleSoft's original suit was filed in mid-June in California's Alameda County Superior Court. It charged that Oracle's purpose of making its now $19.50-a-share bid was to interfere with its business and the company's own plans to buy
. Since then, PeopleSoft has all but completed the $1.8 billion acquisition, and expects to acquire the outstanding shares by the end of August.
Oracle recently said it still intends to acquire PeopleSoft, but its bid is currently under examination by the Department of Justice, with no decision likely until the fall.
An Oracle spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the new legal action, but noted that Oracle's suit against PeopleSoft is still pending in a Delaware court. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for mid-September.
Oracle's suit asks a court to force PeopleSoft's management and board to drop its so-called poison pill defense and negotiate with Oracle, something the company has refused to do from the beginning of the M&A drama.
At the time, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said "Oracle remains committed to acquiring PeopleSoft and will not be deterred by management's maneuvers to maintain control of a company they do not own."