Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Letter to the EU: Stop the Delay of Oracle's Acquisition of Sun

I could not continue to simply sit by and watch the ongoing delay by the EU with regards to the Oracle/Sun Microsystems deal. I've sent the following letter to Neelie Kroes, commissioner for competition, EU, and wanted to share it here as well.


Attention: Neelie Kroes
Commissioner for Competition
European Union

I’m writing to urge you to stop the delay of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

With the proliferation of open source software over the last decade, lower barriers to entry have naturally increased healthy competition in the enterprise software market. As a result, the software and technology market has grown far too dynamic to allow one acquisition to stifle competition. In this new marketplace, nearly anyone can create software with little upfront cost and then compete with even the most entrenched players.

Consider the company I lead, Jaspersoft, as just one example of hundreds where a company was founded based on the need to create better software than what was available from existing providers. We’ve created the most widely used business intelligence software in the world by using the open source software development model. Our success – as well as others – is at least partially due to MySQL and the impact it has had on the expansion of the database market using this same model. The market will continue to benefit when MySQL is once again able to fully compete.

With new software development models succeeding, innovation will continue unabated. And, it will happen in the database market. Ingres, PostgreSQL and MariaDB, for example, will only grow stronger and prove to be more competitive. And, new database products will emerge that supplement existing competition.

Furthermore, done properly, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun should serve the market, community and customers even better. The company will be put in a position where it can play an important leadership role in helping its global peers more surely understand the open source model of shared development and community collaboration in addressing rapidly changing customer requirements.

Lastly, I urge you to come to a conclusion on this matter before January. With its delay, the EU is neither hastening more competition nor furthering Oracle's business. In this case, government should step aside and let the market move on.


Brian C. Gentile
Chief Executive Officer


  1. What about patents? Oracle and Sun has a miriad of patents thta would kill any company doing business with MySQL or MariaDB, I don't see how a small company can fight patents with a monster like Oracle.

  2. I'm not sure what the previous poster's point is. Oracle and Sun do have a rich patent portfolio, which they can use competitively whether or not they merge. How can a small company fight patents? Not infringe on existing ones - just like any other company. Remember, you can't patent something you didn't invent, so if small company A comes up with a new mechanism for doing something, and big company B tries to patent it, company A just needs to be able to show they demonstrated it before anybody else.

  3. Really great ideas. I like every example. Just might have to try these...
    more template