The EU objects

As predicted by everybody, the EU has issued a formal objection to the Oracle-Sun merger. In particular, the European Commission worries that Oracle will hold back on MySQL development, presumably to prevent the open source database from becoming a rival to Oracle's much pricier high-end offerings. While you may have a knee-jerk reaction to this to the effect that "Oh, MySQL is open source, if Oracle doesn't advance it someone else will," note that almost all MySQL development comes in-house, not from outside developers.

Of relevance is that the same can and has been said for Java; thus, it's relevant that, according to the New York Times article I linked to above, the EU's antitrust attention was originally focused on how Oracle's acquisition would affect Java. And to be sure one might speculate on ways Oracle could direct Java to aid its own projects and irritate its competitors; still, the potential clash in the database market is obviously easier to get one's mind around.

EU regulators apparently have a much keener interest in open source than their American counterparts, so it's not too crazy that they're sniffing around these specific areas. (Also relevant, of course, is that MySQL is in origin a European project.) The upshot of the EU's focus on MySQL is that, if the merger passes (and the smart money still thinks it will), then Oracle's intentions for Java will not have gotten strong regulatory scrutiny, and won't necessarily be the subject of any promises from Oracle.

This story, "The EU objects" was originally published by JavaWorld.

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