EU Seeks Outside Opinions on SAP-Sybase Deal

The European Commission has not yet decided whether SAP's pending acquisition of Sybase will fall under its merger rules, although a preliminary review suggests it may, according to a statement released Thursday in the organization's official journal.

"On preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope [of] the EC Merger regulation. However, the final decision on this point is reserved," the document states.

The Commission, the European Union's highest antitrust authority, is soliciting opinions on the deal from interested third parties, which have 10 days to respond, according to the document.

SAP has said it expects the US$5.8 billion transaction to close in July, but that date could be pushed back if European authorities decide to conduct an extensive review.

"We still expect the tender offer for Sybase to close within the timeline we previously outlined," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said in a statement. Sybase could not immediately be reached for comment.

European regulators delayed Oracle's recent purchase of Sun Microsystems for months as they weighed concerns over the fate of open-source technologies like the MySQL database and Java programming language.

SAP is interested in Sybase's mobile platform and database technologies, which will help it extend its core business of enterprise applications.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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