Oracle finally closes BEA deal

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) has finalized its US$8.5 billion deal to buy BEA Systems following the European Commission’s approval, it announced Tuesday.

“The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it,” a statement on the organization’s Web site reads in part.

“The Commission examined the potential effects of the proposed merger on the overall middleware software sector and its various sub-divisions … In each instance, the Commission found that the horizontal overlap between the parties’ activities would not give rise to competition concerns, in particular since Oracle and BEA were not seen to compete head-to-head.”

In addition, the combined company will face a number of viable competitors in the middleware market, such as IBM, Sun, Microsoft and SAP, meaning “customers would therefore find sufficient alternative suppliers,” the Commission added.

Tuesday’s news closed the book on a long and tumultuous bid process marked by shareholder angst, assorted counter-offers and public jousting by company officials.

In a previous interview, David Senf, director of security and software research with Toronto, Ont.-based analyst firm IDC Canada, also then agreed that the union would be beneficial to Oracle. In particular, he said, it would garner Oracle more customers considering it’s had difficulty moving beyond its installed base; gain deeper traction in certain verticals; block rivals IBM Corp. and SAP AG; and expand its product portfolio around high-end middleware and business process management, for added cross-sell opportunity.

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