Playing for keeps
Oracle has argued that MySQL, with just €17 million ($24.87 million) in revenue in Europe last year, was both too small to merit antitrust concerns and, in any case, a lower-end product that competed little with its heavy-duty databases. It brought eight customers to last week's closed-door hearing to make that point, and in an earlier, sharp-tongued legal filing it claimed the EU misrepresented results of a market survey when it brought forward its objections.
Blocking the deal outright would be an extraordinary step for the EU, which, while it is famously tough on monopolists and cartelists, has forbade just two deals during the five-year tenure of antitrust chief Neelie Kroes.
Oracle Monday made 10 "commitments" which don't entail any legal separation of MySQL. Among them is an offer that, for five years, Oracle won't change the terms of its contracts with resellers who package MySQL. Another says that customers who buy the commercial version of MySQL don't have to buy support services from Oracle.