Microsoft may trip up Oracle bid for PeopleSoft

Microsoft Corp. has given U.S. antitrust authorities a sworn statement that could help the government block Oracle Corp.'s bid to buy PeopleSoft Inc., attorneys familiar with the case said. Microsoft's statement to the Justice Department undercuts one of Oracle's central arguments in defense of the $9.4 billion deal -- that the two companies will soon face competition from Microsoft for a crucial part of their business.

The department filed suit Feb. 27 to block Oracle's bid for PeopleSoft, saying it would be anti-competitive. Oracle has dismissed such concerns as unwarranted, citing among other things an imminent competitive threat from Microsoft, the world's largest software company. But in the statement given to investigators, a representative of Microsoft says the company has no plans during the next two years to move into the market at issue -- software sold to large business customers to manage things like finances, human resources and sales forces, the sources said.

News source: Reuters

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