Oracle responds to EU concerns over PeopleSoft bid

Oracle submitted its written response to the European Commission's objections to its planned takeover of PeopleSoft Monday, said lawyers close to the company.

Later this week the company will present its arguments at a hearing involving regulators and opponents of the deal, including senior PeopleSoft executives.

Oracle is confident it can rebuff the "over zealous" proposal to block the deal, one lawyer said on condition of anonymity. "Their response is powerful. The Commission will see there's no chance of a prohibition standing up in court," he said.

The deal would reduce the number of companies providing business enterprise software, widely used by multinational companies for coordinating everything from financial planning to customer relations, from three to two, the Commission said. Germany's SAP AG would retain its top ranking in Europe despite the deal.

The Commission suspects that consciously or not, SAP and Oracle won't compete if they are the only ones in the market. Collectively Oracle and SAP would dominate the market, the Commission said.

Oracle's response will be heard on Wednesday and Thursday. The deadline for a final ruling by the Commission is May 11, long before an appeal by Oracle against a prohibition order from the U.S. Department of Justice is decided, lawyers said.

"What makes this case rather interesting is the fact that the Commission will have to decide what to do without knowing whether U.S. authorities would permit the deal or not," the same lawyer said.

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