State Attorneys General Are Looking Into Oracle Bid
Several state attorneys general, including Texas and California's, have scheduled a conference call to look into Oracle's hostile takeover attempt of PeopleSoft. The call follows last week's filing on an antitrust suit against Oracle by the state attorney general of Connecticut.
Although the call does not mean that legal action will be taken, it is interesting to note California's participation, since both Oracle and PeopleSoft are headquartered in the state.
The conference call may have been sparked by the Connecticut filing, but also by the fact that both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, which PeopleSoft is in the act of acquiring, have stated publicly that the merger would create antitrust problems and the deal might not even be allowed by regulatory agencies.
PeopleSoft president and CEO Craig Conway said in a statement last week that the deal "is highly conditional, faces significant regulatory delays and uncertainty, and threatens serious damage to our business."
The company also placed advertisements in several business publications last week that included quotes from various PeopleSoft customers giving testimony to the danger of an Oracle takeover. "The only thing an Oracle takeover of PeopleSoft would do is to hurt the customers. We are both a PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customer and fully support the PeopleSoft/J.D. Edwards merger. Having to convert to Oracle would cost us millions and millions of dollars without any benefit," Dr. Bob Brobst, CIO of Alcon Labs, said in the advertisement.
Meanwhile, Oracle has vowed to support PeopleSoft products.
After Oracle upped the ante for PeopleSoft to $6.3 billion, Executive Vice President Charles Phillips said in a conference call that PeopleSoft users would see "years" of support from Oracle. Following Phillip's call, Oracle issued a statement wherein CEO Larry Ellison called PeopleSoft's claims "scare tactics," and said, "We will continue to develop and improve PeopleSoft's products for at least the next 10 years--even longer, if customers require further support."
This morning Oracle announced that it has waived its initial objections to PeopleSoft's increased bid offer for J.D. Edwards of $1.75 billion in an attempt to prove its resolve in finalizing an acquisition of PeopleSoft. "We hope that with this waiver, PeopleSoft will finally agree to meet with us, as their shareholders are demanding," Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said in a statement.