HP: Oracle execs thought Sun acquisition was a 'bad idea'

HP: Oracle execs thought Sun acquisition was a 'bad idea'

Summary: HP said in a Monday filing that Oracle's executives believed the Sun acquisition was poor judgement and a mistake.


As the Oracle--HP battle pre-trial warmup match begins in court, HP claimed in a filing that when Oracle bought Sun, some senior executives thought internally it was a bad idea.

HP submitted the filing in California opposing Oracle's motion for a summary adjudication.

In the HP filing, it alleges Oracle set upon a hard-hitting strategy against HP's Itanium-based servers, often used in datacenters, after sales of competing Sun's Sparc servers had declined rapidly.

Sun Microsystems was bought by Oracle for $7.4 billion --- including Sun's debt --- in 2009, which included its Java software and its hardware mantle of servers.

Itanium was coming to the end of its life, and Oracle no longer wished to support the chip. But HP accused Oracle of ending support for Intel's heavy-duty Itanium chip in a move that would go against a support agreement in place.

HP sued Oracle, and Oracle fired back on all-cylinders, accusing HP of false advertising for failing to disclose the terms of its contract with Intel, claiming that its software was made more expensive to run on the HP platform.

The filing also claims that Oracle chief Larry Ellison told only a select number of executives his plans not to support the Intel chip any longer, and that Oracle's senior vice-president of database development was not even consulted.

Claiming that a "significant number of customers were using" the platform, the filing noted how the senior vice-president said: "We didn't think there was a business reason to consider not supporting it."

HP reiterated that Oracle's "anti-customer" behaviour reinforces the fact that the company  "breached its contractual agreements with HP" as part of efforts to drive hardware sales away from Itanium to Oracle's own Sun servers, HP said in a statement.

The case continues.


Topics: Oracle, Banking, Enterprise Software, Hewlett-Packard

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  • Eli$$on bought Sun

    just to sue Google and tax the java community. In the process they screwed others like HP as collateral damage.
    The Linux Geek
    • But...

      It's not a sure thing that Oracle will win against Google. Oracle has their work cut out for them to prove their story. Oracle could lose money on the Google lawsuit.
  • Eli$$on is the head of Oracle legal team?

    Bad idea. How many years does Oracle have before they price themselves right out of the market? No new products? Just law suits. Sell short now.
    • These aren't lawn chairs

      How many years? About 50. They own half the market for enterprise DBMS, and those customers are locked in reeeeaaalll gooood. Microsoft could come into an Oracle shop offering SQL Server for free and it would still cost more than it was worth to switch.
      Robert Hahn
      • It isn't that difficult...

        to migrate RDBMS. It isn't the easiest project in the world either. Many former Oracle DB - SAP customers (large shops) have migrated to DB2 with their PL/SQL compatibility engine.
    • and if they win?

      alternately, if Oracle wins then they're sitting on a cash-cow. Which, I would say, I hope happens. Personally, why would you care *which* company wins unless you have stock?

      I only want Java to remain un-fragmented, and don't like the practice of copying GPL code and removing the GPL. dunno, seems wrong to me, but then I don't care for liars, cheats or plagiarizers either. Guess you're different.
  • Reasonable goal

    Oracle's competition, IBM and Microsoft, are also the OS providers, and in IBM's case also the hardware provider. That kind of end-to-end control can provide opportunities to strengthen the DBMS offering that would not be available to Oracle. Acquiring Sun allowed Oracle to join IBM as an integrated provider of data base servers.

    We could argue whether Sun was the best possible answer to Oracle's predicament, but it was a reasonable answer.

    It's easy to imagine that Oracle would drop support for the Itanic just to screw HP, but it's just as easy to admit that the Itanium was one of Intel's grandiose-design flops (iAPX432 anyone?) that "needs killing".
    Robert Hahn