27 October 2004 European competition regulators have given applications giant Oracle the go-ahead for its hostile bid for rival PeopleSoft, mirroring the US decision.
The decision removes one of the few remaining hurdles to Oracle’s attempt to swallow up its competitor; the final outcome will now be decided on whether Oracle offers PeopleSoft’s shareholders sufficient money.
Oracle must still find a way to remove PeopleSoft’s ‘poison pill’ scheme – a mechanism to protect it from hostile takeovers – but if shareholders want to accept Oracle’s offer they could force the provision to be withdrawn.
Following the European decision that the potential merger would not adversely affect competition, PeopleSoft said it would review the implications for the company. It has previously rejected each of Oracle offers, including the current offer of $21.00 per share.
Both Oracle and PeopleSoft are continuing with legal actions relating to the on-going takeover saga. Oracle is attempting to get PeopleSoft’s customer assurance programme cancelled, while PeopleSoft is seeking damages as a result of Oracle’s hostile bid.