1 August 2003 Attorneys general representing 30 of America’s 50 states have agreed to unite in their antitrust investigation into Oracle’s hostile takeover bid of rival PeopleSoft.
The states have been examining Oracle’s bid for PeopleSoft for more than a month, driven by the fact that most of them have expensive installations of PeopleSoft software that are threatened by the proposed deal.
PeopleSoft’s software is particularly widely used in the US public sector. The State of Connecticut, for example, only signed a $100 million, five-year contract to implement PeopleSoft in 2002. It’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has been particularly active in the campaign against the takeover at state level.
The states’ investigation parallels one being conducted by the Department of Justice (DoJ), which has effectively put Oracle’s bid on hold until that investigation is concluded. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has said that he will wait a year, if necessary, to complete a deal.
Ellison has promised to support PeopleSoft software for a decade should his bid succeed, but many users fear that development will atrophy in that time and that they will be left with little choice but to migrate to an alternative enterprise resource planning (ERP) software package — with all the costs and difficulties that implies.