Gates mulled bailing out PeopleSoft

Once again Oracle is shifting the attention of the court towards its possible competitor Microsoft. By bringing up e-mails between Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Where an e-mail from Bill Gates suggests that Microsoft comes to PeopleSoft's rescue. Oracle is once again singing the same tune. That Microsoft is already a player in the enterprise market. That the merge between Oracle and PeopleSoft would only help consumers and of course hurt Microsoft.

One day after Oracle Corp. launched its hostile bid for PeopleSoft Inc., Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates sent an e-mail to Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer suggesting that Microsoft come to PeopleSoft's rescue. Microsoft could make a minority investment in PeopleSoft "to bolster their independence," Gates wrote in an e-mail on June 7, 2003. In return, the Pleasanton, California, business application vendor would have to make "a modest platform commitment."

At the time, PeopleSoft had already scolded Oracle's takeover attempt. Oracle is using the Gates e-mail as evidence in its battle against the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) attempt to block its $7.7 billion takeover of PeopleSoft. The DOJ has sued Oracle, arguing the merger would stifle competition in the software market catering to large enterprises, resulting in higher prices. In the same e-mail, Gates told Ballmer "its (sic) time we bought SAP," referring to German business applications market leader SAP AG.

News source: InfoWorld

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