Oracle gets PeopleSoft green light in Australia

The Australian competition regulator will not block Oracle's proposed takeover of PeopleSoft

Australia's competition watchdog has elected not to stand in the way of the proposed $7.7bn acquisition of PeopleSoft by Oracle.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said in a statement the regulator would not oppose the proposed acquisition, a move foreshadowed by ZDNet UK sister site ZDNet Australia last month.

The ACCC's move followed decisions by a US court and European Union officials which effectively cleared regulatory hurdles from the path of the proposed acquisition. ACCC officials had undertaken extensive work on the issue after Samuel said in March this year the competition watchdog had concerns Oracle's planned purchase would lead to "a substantial lessening of competition in breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974".

However, Samuel said today that while the market share of a combined Oracle-PeopleSoft business would be "quite high" in the high-end enterprise application space, particularly in financial and human resource management software, the ACCC took into account the existence of heavyweight rival SAP and Australian companies such as Mincom and Technology One that competed against both Oracle and PeopleSoft in some industry sectors.

"The ACCC also recognised the global nature of the industry, and considered that firms such as Microsoft Business Solutions, Lawson and Intentia may potentially increase their Australian market shares in the future," Samuel said.

"The ACCC spoke with many purchasers of enterprise planning software, including many of Australia's largest organisations. Although it was felt that the acquisition will result in a restriction of choice for some of these purchasers, the ACCC did not consider there was enough evidence to suggest that the acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition in a market in breach of the Trade Practices Act."

"The ACCC took into consideration the views of foreign competition regulators in reaching its decision," Samuel added. "The ACCC also noted the evidence put before the US District Court of Northern California in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice seeking to block the acquisition." ZDNet Australia's Iain Ferguson reported from Sydney. For more coverage from ZDNet Australia, click here.

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