YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


States to Join Forces to Review Oracle Bid

California's attorney general joins others in looking into possible competition-limiting deals by the company.

August 02, 2003|From Associated Press

More than two dozen attorneys general concerned about business software maker Oracle Corp.'s $7.5-billion hostile takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. have agreed to cooperate in a review of the proposed deal's effect on competition.

The participating states include California, New York and Texas. About 30 states have signed up to share information gathered in their inquiries.

The multi-state arrangement is considered "standard operating procedure" for studying business deals that might trigger competitive aftershocks, said Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer.

"The fact that you have signed this arrangement doesn't mean you will take action to try to stop the deal," Dresslar said Friday. "We have no plans to intervene."

The U.S. Justice Department already is taking a closer look at how an Oracle takeover of PeopleSoft would affect the $20-billion market for business applications software.

Oracle has expressed confidence that its bid would win federal government clearance, but the company has not set a timetable for getting the approval. Federal regulators intensified their review in late June.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle declined to comment Friday on the agreement among the state attorneys general.

Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal filed a lawsuit seeking to block Oracle's bid in June and urged other states to join his effort.

Connecticut could not participate in the joint state arrangement because of its existing lawsuit.

Oracle is offering $19.50 a share for Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft and another business software maker, Denver-based J.D. Edwards & Co., now under PeopleSoft's con- trol.

PeopleSoft's shares dipped 2 cents Friday to close at $16.54 on Nasdaq, where Oracle's shares fell 17 cents to $11.82.

Los Angeles Times Articles