Microsoft, IBM to Enter Business Software -Witness

Microsoft Corp. and IBM both plan to move into the market to supply software to run key business functions, a government witness in the antitrust trial against Oracle said in a San Francisco federal court on Thursday. The surprise testimony appeared to support Oracle Corp.'s argument that the market for such software is competitive enough to accommodate its proposed hostile takeover of PeopleSoft Inc.

U.S. antitrust officials have sued to block the $7.7 billion acquisition because they believe it would hurt competition and drive up prices for software that helps companies manage their human resources and finances. The argument against the merger hinges on the government's argument that the barrier to new entrants to the market would be prohibitively high. But a technology consultant called to testify in support of the government's case on Thursday said he believed Microsoft, which has made it a strategic priority to supply software to smaller and medium-sized businesses, would eventually move into the high end of the market.

News source: Reuters

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