Oracle said in a release today that the U.S. Department of Justice has given its blessing to Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The deal is still awaiting approval from the European Commission. Sun's shareholders approved the acquisition last month.
You'll recall that Oracle came out of left field to make a bid for Sun after talks between IBM and Sun broke down. The big headline at the time centered around Oracle becoming a hardware player - but as the dust settled, it became more apparent that the hardware side of the business could be short-lived after the acquisition.
During a conference call to discuss the acquisition, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said that Java and Solaris are the keepers in the deal. “More Oracle databases run on the Solaris Sparc than any other system,” said Ellison, noting Linux was second. “We’ll engineer the Oracle database and Solaris operating system together. With Sun we can make all components of the IT stack integrated and work well.”
Regarding Java, Ellison said it wanted Sun so it could own the building blocks for its middleware. Oracle’s middleware is built on Java and the applications giant said it will continue to invest in the software.
In a post at the time, Larry Dignan assessed the situation and noted how it would be easy for Oracle to shed the hardware business. Larry wrote: "Sun’s manufacturing is outsourced so there isn’t a lot of baggage—real estate, equipment and labor—to worry about. If Oracle decides to milk, then wind down the hardware business, it’s relatively easy. "
The European Commission is slated to make its decision on the deal in just a couple of weeks, though John Paczkowski points out on an All Things Digital blog earlier this month that the commission seems to have some concerns over the fate of MySQL.
Still, now that the DOJ has given its blessing and the EC's concerns are focused around MySQL, I wonder if it's OK to start prepping that obituary for the Sun hardware business?