Microsoft documents detail SAP buyout plan

During the whole PeopleSoft and Oracle trial nothing has come up more than Microsoft's plans to purchase SAP. Earlier last year Microsoft talked to SAP about a possible merger. Oracle continues to shift the attention towards Microsoft. Accusing the very government that has stopped the hostile take over of ignoring what Microsoft has been up to.

Nothing has caused more of a sensation during the Oracle antitrust trial than Microsoft's merger talks with SAP.

The public got a closer glimpse at the secret discussions last week with the release of a set of confidential documents related to the proposal. Microsoft approached SAP last year about a merger, shortly after Oracle launched its hostile bid for PeopleSoft. The merger would have put Microsoft into the high end market for business software--a move company documents say it wouldn't pursue by other means. But the companies abandoned the proposal--which Microsoft had code-named Project Constellation--earlier this year after deciding that the merger would be too complex.

Microsoft and SAP revealed the aborted plans on the opening day of the Oracle trial, knowing that Oracle planned to drop the bombshell to bolster its case. Oracle contends the U.S. Justice Department ignored Microsoft and a handful of other Oracle rivals in its decision to oppose a PeopleSoft buyout. The documents released in the case, which can be downloaded here, include a PowerPoint presentation dated Jan. 5, 2004, in which Microsoft outlined its rationale for buying SAP--undoubtedly a costly proposition, given that the German company's market capitalization exceeds $52 billion. With SAP, Microsoft saw the chance to strengthen its relationships with multinational companies and computer services firms, and the opportunity to promote its Windows products among SAP's 20,000 customers.

Download: SAP Buyout PDF

News source: C|Net News.com

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