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EU gives Oracle unconditional approval for Sun purchase

U.S. software company Oracle has been given unconditional approval from the European Union for its $7 billion purchase of computer maker Sun Microsystems, reports Reuters. Oracle was given the go ahead by the U.S. Department of Justice in August last year.

The approval comes after an investigation was started by European Commission in September over concerns of the impact the deal would have on the competing MySQL database. Sun acquired the popular database system in early 2008.

Speaking in a statement, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said, "I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products."

Oracle announced its intentions for the MySQL platform in a December press release - something which apparently played an important role in Kroes decision. Speaking at the time of the release, she said it was "an important new element to be taken into account in the ongoing proceedings."

However, Michael Widenius, one of the founders of MySQL, has continually lobbied for MySQL to be excluded from the deal. An advisor to the Swedish programmer said the commitments from Oracle were merely "cosmetic".

Prior to EU approval, Widenius said, "Should Oracle get MySQL unconditionally, then I can only say that as a European I am ashamed of our regulatory system."

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