Oracle: European Commission Fails to Grasp Open Source

Nov 10, 2009

Oracle claims that the European Commission's public policy against Oracle's takeover of MySQL runs counter to open source freedom and the growing database market.

Yesterday Sun Microsystems informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the European Commission's objections against Oracle's acquisition of Sun's MySQL. The Commission's "Statement of Objections" reflects their assessment of the proposed combining of Sun's open source MySQL database product with Oracle's commercial products and the "potential negative effects on competition in the market." Sun said in their short report to the USSEC that the Commission's document is merely a proposal and open for further discussion.

Oracle itself issued a concurrent statement that the commission misunderstood that nobody can control open source. The statement also mentioned six other database providers that provide enough of a competitive market to counter any anti-trust claims in the Oracle-Sun merger as it pertains to MySQL.

According to a Forrester Research study in July 2009, MySQL is the most used database product next to Ingres. Reacting to Oracle's Sun takeover in April, MySQL founder Monty Widenius started an Open Database Alliance together with Percona to protect the open source status of essential MySQL components. Oracle initially refused to commit to MySQL's future and the EU was against the takeover from the beginning. More recently Oracle finally committed itself to promising significant funds to secure MySQL.

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