Oracle ‘has tricks up its sleeve’ for bid

Oracle intends to launch a proxy fight at PeopleSoft’s shareholder meeting in Spring 2004 after regulatory hurdles are cleared.

But before it can show its hand, Oracle must wait for the US Department of Justice to rule whether its proposed acquisition would raise any antitrust issues. A decision is expected this autumn.

‘At the proxy fight, we’re going to have a few things up our sleeve,’ said Chuck Phillips, executive vice-president at Oracle. Phillips was speaking at the OracleWorld user conference in San Francisco last week, where he claimed the DoJ and EC were PeopleSoft’s best hopes of fending off a deal.

But he said Oracle was confident the authorities would give their approval.

According to Phillips, a successful acquisition would benefit customers and create a company capable of competing against current market leaders SAP and Microsoft.

While PeopleSoft president and chief executive Craig Conway has described the battle as ‘over’, further skirmishes look set for the autumn, and again early next year, leaving customers facing the prospect of months of uncertainty.

European regulators are also pouring over the details of the bid, and are expected to rule within a similar timeframe.

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