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US Gov't Lobbied EU To Approve Oracle-Sun Merger 169

Posted by timothy
from the how-could-george-bush-do-such-a-thing dept.
littlekorea writes "Cables leaked by Wikileaks have revealed that the U.S. Government actively pressured the EU Competition Commissioner to approve Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The cable reveals that the U.S. went to great lengths to discover how the competition commissioner felt about the 'pro-competitive' nature of open source software and whether this would represent a threat to the US$7.4 billion deal."
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US Gov't Lobbied EU To Approve Oracle-Sun Merger

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  • It's only right! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @05:35AM (#37251158)

    Why should the EU decide this on their own? It's better that the Worlds Remaining Superpower (tm) be there to ensure they make the right decision. And it's Oracle. What could possibly go wrong?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @05:55AM (#37251218)

    US Government has also decided that MS Windows monopoly is good (for US). It does not matter if technical development is halted by the monopoly as long as it brings taxes to US.
    And US was the "market economy" which has grown from competitive freedom of markets. Well, if you control whole world, why bother to care about free markets and competition.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @05:57AM (#37251230)

    It is when the US Gov forces Genetically Modified food down everyone's throat [truth-out.org], often in the face of overwhelming democratic opposition to them - even in some cases the political elite objecting (See this India cable [cablegatesearch.net]: "Very serious fears [...] of Monsanto controlling our food chain"), that things start to get really questionable.

  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @05:57AM (#37251232) Homepage

    "The Worlds Remaining Superpower" is now an oxymoron. The US may have a lot of military personnel but it's a very sick country on the verge of collapse.

  • by F69631 (2421974) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @06:03AM (#37251254)

    Lobbying isn't that bad. USA officials had arrived to one conclusion, felt that the issue was very important to them and communicated that to EU officials. Regular co-operative communication between officials of two political bodies. If EU officials then arrived to a result which (considering all things, including any political capital gained or lost) was bad for us as EU citizens, then our own officials are to blame. Personally, I don't think that they did and there is nothing in TFA that implies otherwise.

    In other words, the cables show that EU and USA officials of corresponding organizations actually communicate with each other when handling international issues. Nothing to see here.

  • Re:Governments (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @06:39AM (#37251386)

    I think you mean:

    By some people, for themselves and their buddies.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @07:04AM (#37251486) Journal

    "What is the EU going to do if they merge in the US, prevent the new merged company from doing any business in the EU?"

    DOH! Yes; Precisely that.

    Isolationism does not just mean saying 'Fuck You' to your neighbors; It also means they shrug and say 'Fuck You Too' right back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @07:40AM (#37251616)

    Maybe so. But we're big enough to drag the rest of the world down with us!
    Or use our massive military to just take what we want. Or need.

    Say.... i think you might have some W.M.D's. And oil. You need some freedom too. Don't worry. We'll save you!

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @07:43AM (#37251634) Homepage Journal

    Why shouldn't the US Government have an interest in a third parties decision affecting two large US companies?

    The problem is not that the US Government has an interest. The problem is they are encouraging the wrong side of the argument.

    The fact that anti-trust laws are being ignored at this level is the best example that our government has been completely co-opted by corporate interests. We are no longer a country for the people. Now we are a country for the corporations.

  • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:26AM (#37251876)

    I agree - except that it should not have come out via Wikileaks. The US is entitled to lobby on behalf of two large US corporations which have decided to merge. But is should do so in the open - as should all lobbyists.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MartinSchou (1360093) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:44AM (#37252066)

    Well, Oracle is of course allowed to stop doing business in the EU if they do not like the rules there.

    It might make some people (like you) and even some of their shareholders happy. But allow me to show you some numbers.

    Oracle's fiscal 2011 income [oracle.com]:
    Total income: 35,622 million dollars
    Americas (North and South): 18,352 million dollars
    Europe, Middle East & Africa: 11,497 million dollars

    Realistically most of the EMEA income is from the EU, just like most of the Americas income is from the US.

    What you're suggesting is that they dump 32% of their revenue from day to day.

    Some of that will be offset by laying off 22,394 employees in the EMEA, but that only makes up 20% of their total number of employees. Compare that to the 45,887 employees in the Americas.

    The EMEA is a more profitable area for Oracle than the Americas from a pure income/employee point of view (514,000 vs 400,000 dollars)

    But if we ignore the financial consequences, the competitive consequences of giving your main rivals 11 billion dollars a year and the sheer idiocy of believing that you shouldn't have to live up to the rules of the countries you operate in, then yeah - you have a really good idea there.

    Go for it - I'm sure you'll have a lot of success at Oracle's next shareholders meeting.

  • by rednip (186217) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {pinder}> on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:47AM (#37252108) Journal

    While there is always a segment of the American population who believes 'that the end is right around the corner', if only for religious beliefs, it always seems that there are many more of them after a economic crisis. We're Americans, we always get though it, yet, even after 8 strait quarters of admittedly weak GDP growth, but growth none the less, many are still beating the drums of crisis.

    Maybe for you the American dream is over, but for most of us it's chugging along.

  • by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:05AM (#37252270)

    But on the other hand, they are working hard on the latter. With this difference that Somali communication infrastructure will still be better.

    The difference between a first and a third world nation is not the average income, that changes quickly. It is the infrastructure: road, rail sanitation, power, communication. But also the bureaucracy and the education of the population.

    People who want no/small government are exactly asking for third world infrastructure.

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

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