The New York Times > Technology > Oracle Croons a New Tune About an Old Rival "In business, competitors are routinely cast as enemies to be fought and ridiculed. And over the years Oracle, led by its shoot-from-the-lip chief executive, Lawrence J. Ellison, has directed vast quantities of combative energy and invective at Microsoft - a software maker led by a man even richer than Mr. Ellison, Bill Gates.
But when Oracle squares off against the Justice Department over its proposed hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in Federal District Court in San Francisco next Monday, it will portray Microsoft as a guardian of competition and a welcome new entrant in the $25-billion-a-year global market for the back-office software that companies use to manage finances, human resources, procurement, sales and customer relations.
For Oracle, the new attitude toward Microsoft is not a change of heart but a matter of self-interest. The Justice Department is suing to block Oracle's $7.7 billion bid for PeopleSoft because it argues that the merger would be anticompetitive by reducing the number of major rivals in the business software market to two from three, thus driving up prices. PeopleSoft has rejected Oracle's offer several times; Oracle made its first offer in June 2003."