Florian Mueller, coordinating opposition to Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems and mySQL, sent a note today cheering word that Oracle has asked for, and gotten, a six-day delay to answer European objections to the purchase. (Picture from Roberto Galoppini.)
Mueller, a former mySQL shareholder and strategic advisor, is working with mySQL co-founder Monty Widenius.
"Oracle is now apparently backtracking from previous claims that the European Commission has no credible theory of harm. If the EU's objections were baseless, Oracle wouldn't need more time now to develop its arguments. This is another sign of enormous weakness only three weeks after Oracle withdrew its antitrust application in Russia.
One more week won't change the fact that MySQL competes fiercely with Oracle's database products including its flagship '11g' across all major market segments. One more week won't transform a traditional company product like MySQL into a community project that could be developed by volunteers just because it's open source. The best way Oracle can make use of this extra week is to think really hard about selling MySQL to a suitable third party."
Mueller said the delay in Oracle's response means a decision on the merger won't come from the European Commission until January 27.
My personal view is that Oracle could spin control of the code base into a foundation like Eclipse, with control based on investment, which would also enable money to flow in from mySQL stakeholders like Amazon.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison insists the delay in Europe's approval is degrading the overall value of Sun, which also controls such important open source projects as Java and Open Office.
I do not disagree.
But due to its open source license Oracle is not gaining control of the mySQL code base, just becoming its commercial sponsor. So why not bring free money to support the code base and have something better to sell support on?
It's reasonable that Ellison resents the interference of European bureaucrats in Oracle's affairs. But personal feelings should not get in the way of business. This is business.
Business is just business.