UPDATED: European Commission delays Oracle/Sun deal

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The European Commission has announced today that it will be launching an investigation into Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

The antitrust probe will decide whether competition in the database market will be harmed if Oracle own Sun's MySQL, as well as its own.

The decision will not be announced until 19 January 2010 which puts the deal months behind schedule.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement: "The Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover."

The $7.4 billion sale was given the green light by the Department of Justice in the US at the end of August.

IT PRO contacted Oracle and Sun but both declined to comment.

IBM was the first company in the running to take over Sun at the start of the year, but when talks stalled back in April, Oracle seized the opportunity and made its offer, which was soon accepted by the company.

Questions about Sun's hardware assets and their value to Oracle have been bandied around ever since, but Larry Ellison, the company's chief executive, has continued to claim he will keep hold of them.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.