DOJ expected to weigh in on Oracle bid

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to decide this week whether Oracle Corp.'s US$6.3 billion unsolicited bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. can progress or whether it wants further information on the deal amid antitrust concerns.

While PeopleSoft has been trying to fend off the buy by raising antitrust flags, Oracle expressed optimism over the weekend that the DOJ would ultimately allow the deal to go through.

In a statement late Sunday, Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said that "we remain very optimistic that (the) DOJ will conclude that this transaction is not anti-competitive and that we will complete the transaction in a timely manner."

The company added that due to the "high-profile nature of the transaction" it expects the DOJ to issue a second request for information, however.

A further request could delay the agency's decision, giving PeopleSoft time to complete its acquisition of fellow enterprise software provider J.D. Edwards & Co., which has been put in jeopardy by the Oracle bid.

Both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards have argued that an Oracle acquisition would represent too much consolidation in the market and harm competition to the detriment of customers. Oracle announced it's bid for PeopleSoft earlier this month, just days after the Pleasanton, California, software firm announced it was buying J.D. Edwards.

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