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PeopleSoft Swallowed Up

Oracle will close the $10.3 billion acquisition today.

Say goodbye to



. With 97% of its shares in hand,



will close the $10.3 billion acquisition of its smaller rival, ending one of the longest and bitterest takeover struggles in the history of the software industry.

By the end of the day PeopleSoft will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle, its stock will no longer be traded and the company will no longer report earnings. In recent trading, shares of PeopleSoft were a penny above the final offer price of $26.50 while Oracle was up 5 cents to $13.27 a share.

The merger will create the second largest business applications software company in the world, following only Germany's SAP.

Oracle said it will move quickly to complete the integration of the companies, a task that will necessitate the layoff of thousands of employees of both companies. How deep the cuts will be is unclear; during testimony in the government's failed attempt to block the merger with an antitrust suit, Oracle co-President Safra Catz said about 6,000 jobs could be trimmed, but that number may have changed. The two companies employ more than 50,000 people.

Oracle expects to notify affected employees by Jan. 15, and will launch the combined company with a Web cast on Jan. 18. Catz said her company estimates that the layoffs and other actions will save approximately $1.18 billion.

Cutting has already begun with the firing of PeopleSoft's top management and the resignation of the company's founder and CEO David Duffield, all of whom owned big chunks of options and floated to earth under lucrative severance agreements put in place during the 18-month takeover battle. At the same time, Oracle recruiters have been meeting with PeopleSoft employees to determine who will go and who will stay.