Oracle emails expose true hostile intent, claims PeopleSoft

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Internal Oracle emails have been revealed that PeopleSoft claims show that Oracle executives knew that their hostile bid for PeopleSoft would hurt sales of PeopleSoft's software.

Oracle claims that the emails are "rife with comments taken out of context." An Oracle spokesman said: "The important thing to remember is that Oracle opposed PeopleSoft's motion to seal portions of the amended complaint because Oracle has nothing to hide."

PeopleSoft alleged in the lawsuit that Oracle tried to scuttle business by encouraging industry analysts to advise clients to delay purchases. PeopleSoft quoted an e-mail from Peggy O'Neill, Oracle's vice president of analyst relations, as saying to an unidentified analyst, "obvious customer advice such as wait on purchases until this is over should be highlighted."

O'Neill is also cited as quoting from an internal Oracle document arguing that : "Time is on our side, because the more time goes on, the less likely another suitor emerges, the more likely people start worrying about what will happen to the future of PSFT...the more something hurts PSFT, the more likely that share price drops and $16 starts looking better."

PeopleSoft also noted that while Oracle executives had indicated PeopleSoft products would be placed in "maintenance mode," Safra Catz, a high-level Oracle vice president, said in an internal e-mail: "we really won't be continuing their product line."

The Oracle spokesman countered: "This e-mail from...Catz focuses on the 'exciting opportunity' for Oracle and the positive impact of the proposed transaction to Oracle's earnings per share. It does not talk about harm to PeopleSoft. The referenced comment about not continuing PeopleSoft's product line does not, when in proper context, suggest that Oracle has misrepresented anything about what it intends to do, and is in fact followed by talking points that make it clear that Oracle intends to continue and improve product support and to make product improvements."

But citing an internal email from Oracle’s PR spokesman Jim Finn, PeopleSoft's lawsuit states: "Finn, in an internal email, (said) announcing Oracle's decision to cease support of its own older product 'would be the wrong signal to customers and would be seized upon by PSFT and their advisors to counter (Oracle CEO) Larry (Ellison)'s assertions that PSFT customers can take their time upgrading to ORCL."

Oracle VP Chuck Phillips is also cited as admitting that migrating from PeopleSoft to Oracle applications will cost money. In an email to a PeopleSoft customer:, Phillips said: "You are correct that migrating between releases is never cost free and consulting is involved. We never said otherwise and that's a fact of life as anyone remotely familiar with software knows."

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