9 March 2004 The legal battle lines are being drawn in Oracle’s bid to take over rival PeopleSoft, with SAP and Microsoft voicing their support for opposing sides.
Already vocal in its opposition to the DoJ’s decision, SAP is planning to write a letter to the Department of Justice (DoJ) claiming that it has unfairly disregarded potential competitors such as Microsoft.
But executives at Microsoft have told the DoJ that they are not planning to move into the high-end application software market for at least two years.
This will upset Oracle’s appeal, which is based on convincing regulators that Microsoft — and many other mid-market enterprise application vendors — provide ample competition in the market.
SAP is the runaway market leader of the enterprise application sector, with PeopleSoft in second place, some way behind.
SAP has suggested that it does not believe the takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle is anticompetitive. But SAP was accused of acting out of self interest. “Is anybody really surprised that the number one and the number three companies want to have the number two eliminated?” asked PeopleSoft spokesman Steve Swasey.
Oracle says it will show in court that Microsoft does intend to enter the market and will no doubt point to the development of Project Green, Microsoft’s next generation application suite, as proof. However, Project Green is not expected to emerge before 2007 at the earliest and Microsoft has revealed little about its plans for the new product.
Such confrontation between Oracle and Microsoft is nothing new. Oracle has consistently campaigned against Microsoft’s alleged monopolistic behaviour.