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02 December 2023

MySQL move against Oracle deal gains pace

By Reuters

Michael Widenius, the creator of the MySQL database and a potential stumbling block for Oracle in its takeover of Sun, handed 14,000 signatures opposing the deal to regulators in Europe, China and Russia.

The European Commission has objected to the deal, citing possible competition constraints on the MySQL database which is owned by Sun after the takeover, but it said in December it was optimistic a "satisfactory outcome" was possible. It has until January 27 to decide on the deal.

Widenius, who delivered the signatures yesterday, launched the web campaign in response to Oracle mobilising its big customers to tell the European Commission in December hearings that the takeover was not anti-competitive.

Antitrust lawyers have said enlisting major companies to express support could sway doubtful regulators. MySQL has been a rare major newcomer to the global database market–dominated by technology heavyweights Oracle, IBM and Microsoft–pushing down prices of databases and their maintenance.

Widenius, one of the most respected developers of open-source software, left Sun last year to set up his own small database firm Monty Program Ab.

Sun bought MySQL for $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in 2008. "Our signatories don't have faith that Oracle could be a good steward of MySQL," Widenius said in a statement, adding he would continue the campaign until the very end of the process.

The campaigners said more than 5,000 signatures are from self-employed developers and more than 3,000 from employees of companies and organisations of all sizes using MySQL. The signatures were gathered during the first week of the campaign and were delivered to the EU and others.


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