US state attorneys general are due to meet today to discuss their concerns over Oracle’s hostile $6.1 billion takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison lays into PeopleSoft’s “lies”.
Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, said a representative of his state would participate in the discussion because state agencies were heavy users of PeopleSoft systems.
But he added that California did not currently intend to take action to stop the deal, unlike Connecticut which last week filed suit against Oracle in a bid to prevent the takeover proceeding. Dresslar said. "We're monitoring developments and gathering information, trying to see what the potential effects of a takeover would be on government agencies in California."
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is one of the moving forces behind the meeting. He said, "We take great interest anytime a situation threatens competition and puts the customer, whether an individual or government entity, in jeopardy of paying higher prices for a particular product."
Meanwhile Oracle CEO Ellison has hit out at what he calls PeopleSoft’s “lies and scare tactics” in the increasingly bitter takeover battle. PeopleSoft executives are travelling around telling customers that we will 'kill' PeopleSoft's products and force them to move to Oracle's applications," he said. These are lies and scare tactics. We will continue to develop and improve PeopleSoft's products for at least the next 10 years - even longer, if customers require further support."
"Don't be a victim of scare tactics. We would not offer more than $6bn in cash unless we really wanted you to be our customers," he said. Our investment only pays off for our shareholders if we keep you happy. And we will. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority.