Read the fine print – in the “dual license” open source model, MySQL can’t be downloaded and used without a commercial license, in most business deployment domains. It is in many ways an apples-and-0ranges comparison, but MySQL does indeed compete with Oracle Database in some market segments.
MySQL began life as an open-source database in the 1990s, developed by a Swedish company. Sun bought it last year for $1 billion. The database was initially geared to lower-end uses such as supporting Web sites, though its abilities have expanded. Facebook, for instance, stores users' pages in a MySQL database. Oracle's namesake database is heavy-duty software often intended for applications such as processing payroll or bank transactions.
A key piece of the antitrust equation is whether MySQL, which can be downloaded free of charge , has become—or will become—robust enough to compete against Oracle.
In one of its few public statements about the deal, the commission said it determined that Oracle and MySQL "compete directly in many sectors of the database market."