Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Antitrust News: States Hold Call on Peoplesoft Deal

Reuters reports that attorney generals from several U.S. states held a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the antitrust implications of Oracle's bid for PeopleSoft.

"I'm encouraged generally by the high level of interest among my fellow attorneys general," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told Reuters. "There have been meaningful talks among the states and they are certainly ongoing and increasing in frequency and depth."

Connecticut, which is in the midst of a $100 million project to update its computer systems with PeopleSoft products, said last week an Oracle takeover of PeopleSoft would cost it "tens of millions of dollars" and asked a judge to block the deal, citing antitrust law.

"We're collecting evidence that confirms the anti-competitive and anti-consumer ramifications of this potential deal," Blumenthal said.

The conference call on Tuesday was "a standard, fact-finding process that typically happens any time there is word of a proposed merger or takeover bid that affects states or state government, as is the case in Texas," Texas Attorney General's Office spokesman Tom Kelley said in a statement.

Texas has not taken any legal action with regard to the deal, and Kelley declined to say how many states participated or provide specifics on the call.
As wrong as antitrust is, I have a hard time having sympaythy for Larry Ellison. How does the old saying go--"live by the gun and you'll go the same way."

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