European Commission set to delay Oracle/PeopleSoft review

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It’s not been a good week for Oracle’s planned takeover for PeopleSoft and ends with the news that European Commission regulators are set to extend their review of bid.

The European Commission has until next Monday to clear the deal or open an in-depth, four-month probe known as "phase two." The latter seems the most likely option. "A phase-two (EU) review would be standard for a transaction of this size and would also align the European Commission's timing with that of the U.S.," said an Oracle spokesman.

Oracle executives met with Commission officials last week to discuss the deal, which is already facing an extended review by the U.S. Department of Justice. EU regulators would likely prefer to wait for that.

The commission is concerned that the European market could be dominated by a merged Oracle-PeopleSoft and Germany’s SAP. It is also keen not to rock the boat with the US authorities however and is believed to have concluded that waiting until Washington has ruled will mean its own conclusions are not critical.

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