Oracle slashes prices - if you're Japanese

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's love of all things Japanese is legendary in Silicon Valley. Now Japanese Oracle customers might have reason to return the compliment following hefty database software price cuts in Japan designed to stave off a market slowdown in the region. As of 1st February, Oracle Japan will lower the price of the Oracle 9i Database Enterprise Edition by up to 48 per cent for customers who pay a fixed price per processor.

Although the company insists there is no sign of Oracle’s market share slipping in Japan, it was cutting prices in the high end and midrange customer sectors. "It's true we have been dragged along by price competition ," admitted Oracle Japan President Masaaki Shintaku. "There's a big difference between the propaganda and the reality."

The reality is that Oracle Japan lowered its 2001-02 revenue forecast - on Christmas Day - by more than 12 percent, to 94.3 billion yen ($708.4 million) from 108 billion yen ($815.4 million). It expects profits to be lower than expected as well, somewhere in the region of $151.1 million from $180.3 million.

Quite what the implications are for Oracle's much vaunted single, global price list are at present unclear. Doubtless this will be addressed at next week’s Oracle Apps World user meeting in Amsterdam.

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