Thursday, September 03, 2009

Those Europeans are so sensible

When I first read that Oracle would buy Sun, my immediate reaction was:

"How bizarre, to think that Larry Ellison, the King of Proprietary Software for so many years, now would own and control Java and mySQL!"

I have no doubt that Oracle will strongly support and enhance Java; it committed itself to the Java platform years ago.

But you've got to wonder about the future of mySQL. Sure, Oracle would royally piss off millions by letting mySQL dwindle, but it would likely offer a powerful alternative (like the free Oracle XE) - and would also likely be able to ride out the firestorm of protest.

Of course, the U.S. Justice Department said "No problem, Oracle. You go and swallow up Sun."

But the European Union is much more suspicious of corporations, which makes perfect sense to me. After all, the stated purpose of a corporation (maximize profits) has many unavoidable "conflicts of interest" with the stated purpose of democratic and civilized nations. As a consequence, it has raised concerns about this acquisition, specifically as it concerns mySQL.

I expect the acquisition will go through, but perhaps Oracle will have to make some sort of commitment to maintain and enhance mySQL, or maybe shed it entirely (reversing Sun's $1B acquisition of the software a year ago, which I think was a darned strange thing to do for a company in such bad shape).

1 comment:

Byte64 said...

I don't think UE is taking any "future commitment" too seriously when evaluating these matters.

I would not be surprised if UE ruled to exclude MySQL from Oracle portfolio.
I was working at New Holland, (a Fiat company) when they "swallowed up" Case Corporation and whereas there was no problem for US in doing so, UE decided that some brands and facilities must be sold to the competitors and so they did, selling bits and pieces of European plants.
For this reason it may happen that UE forces Oracle to exclude MySQL from the deal. Then, as the 85% of the db market share is in the hands of Oracle, IBM and M$, i wonder who might have enough money to buy MySQL from Larry who is not famous for discounts.