MySQL founder calls for protests against Oracle takeover

The founder of the popular MySQL database is calling for people to protest against Oracle's attempted takeover of Silicon Valley based Sun Microsystems. Michael Widenius says that the European Commission must block the deal in order to secure the future of MySQL, which was purchased by Sun in 2008.

The open source database system, which powers millions of websites across the Internet, was sold to Sun in 2008 for $1 billion. However, when Sun recently got into financial difficulties they became the subject of a $7.4 billlion takeover by Oracle.

"I just don't buy it that Oracle will be a good home for MySQL," Widenius wrote on his blog. He added that MySQL is "used in many of the world's largest companies and they use it for an increasing number of purposes."

"This not only scares but actually hurts Oracle every day."

According to the Guardian
, European regulators are concerned as to whether the deal would give Oracle too much control over the lucrative database market. Competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, has said she intends to examine the situation "very carefully".

Widenius now believes people in Europe need to protest the takeover to their local representatives in order to prevent the take over which was approved in the US.

"I have spent the last 27 years creating and working on MySQL and I hope, together with my team of MySQL core developers, to work on it for many more years. With your support there is a good chance that the European Commission (from which Oracle needs approval) could prevent this from happening or demand Oracle to change the terms... Without your support it might not. The EC is our last big hope because the US government approved the deal."

The US justice department, who approved the merger last month, said that the deal is "unlikely to be anti-competitive" because MySQL is open source, meaning that anybody could create a "fork" or "spin-off" of MySQL outside of Oracle's control.

Despite this, Widenius still thinks Oracle would find a way to shut down MySQL and prevent it from competing with their own proprietary system.

"A fork is not enough to keep MySQL alive for all future, if Oracle - as the copyright holder - would at any point decide that they should kill MySQL."

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