Monday, September 14, 2009

Oracle + MySQL = Monopoly?

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission opened an antitrust investigation into Oracle Corp.'s $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc., dealing a blow to Oracle's efforts to keep Sun customers who are increasingly being wooed by rival technology companies.
That's from EU to Probe Oracle-Sun Deal on September 3rd.

Ostensibly, this is about MySQL.
In announcing the probe, the European Union's executive arm cited concern that the deal would stymie competition for database software...Sun makes a low-cost alternative [MySQL] that is increasing in popularity.
With all of the database offerings out there, how can this even be a consideration?

Let's say Oracle decides to squash MySQL (which I doubt), are you telling me that it can't or won't be forked? Are you also telling me that these businesses have no other choices in database software?
monopoly ((economics) a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller) "a monopoly on silver"; "when you have a monopoly you can ask any price you like"
The wikipedia entry is littered with words like "exclusive" and phrases like "sole control." Where is the monopoly?

This isn't about Oracle, specifically, either. I could never understand the charges against Microsoft. Shouldn't they be allowed to build their systems the way they want to?

Oracle Has Customers Over a Barrell
If Oracle buys Sun, it could cripple or kill the rival product. "The Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
Rival? Really? Didn't Marten Mickos say that MySQL wasn't, or didn't want to be, a competitor of Oracle?

Where is the reduced choice?

Besides (please correct me if I am wrong), aren't these customers paying for support and not the product itself?

Anyway, there are plenty of database options out there. If MySQL does fork, it might just be better for everyone involved because they'll take it in a new or different direction.

Please help this confused soul and explain to me how this might be a monopoly.


Clever Idea Widgetry said...

It's a monopoly, duh. Just like how Ford Echos are denting BMW 700-series sales.

oraclenerd said...


Noons said...

The concept of monopoly in the EU has always been a bit vague, to put it very mildly.
Even with all their regulations to avoid monopolies, the fact remains that Wintel has a nearly 100% presence on the EU desktop, public servant or not.
Apparently whatever they do, it ain't working.
Maybe because, it's wrong?