EC gives go-ahead to Oracle's BEA acquisition

The European Commission has said it has no competition concerns over the takeover of systems software company BEA Systems by Oracle
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of BEA Systems by Oracle.

On Monday the Commission said it had approved the acquisition under EU law. "The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the US company BEA Systems, an independent provider of middleware software, by Oracle, also of the US," the Commission said in a statement. "The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it."

The Commission looked at potential effects on the European middleware market, focusing specifically on application servers, portals, enterprise service bus software and applications-integration software, and concluded that it had no competition concerns due to the presence of other major middleware players in the market.

"The combined Oracle and BEA entity would face several strong competitors in the overall middleware market and in each of the sub-segments, such as IBM, Sun, Microsoft and SAP, and customers would, therefore, find sufficient alternative suppliers," said the Commission statement.

The acquisition of BEA by Oracle, announced in January, followed friction between the two companies over the purchase price. In November last year, Oracle said that it was going to reduce its initial offer of $17 (at the time worth £8) per share, claiming BEA was no longer worth that price. However, Oracle eventually agreed to pay $19.38 per share for BEA.

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