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SAP to shutter unit in Texas

TomorrowNow was accused in a lawsuit filed by Oracle of stealing information about its software.

July 22, 2008|From the Associated Press

German software maker SAP said Monday that it would shut down TomorrowNow, a subsidiary that provided support for Oracle Corp. software and was accused of stealing information from Oracle.

Bryan, Texas-based TomorrowNow was formed by former engineers at PeopleSoft Inc., with the idea of providing less expensive software support to PeopleSoft customers.

SAP bought TomorrowNow in 2005, about the same time that Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle completed its $11.1-billion purchase of PeopleSoft.

Soon after, Oracle alleged in a lawsuit, TomorrowNow employees hacked into Oracle's computer network to steal information about its software so that SAP would have a better chance of luring customers. The lawsuit is set for a February 2010 trial in San Francisco.

SAP Chief Executive Henning Kagermann has acknowledged that TomorrowNow made "inappropriate downloads" of Oracle's software coding, but he has maintained that its rival "wasn't significantly harmed" by the breach.

Even so, SAP said in November that it was exploring selling TomorrowNow.

On Monday, SAP said it was working with TomorrowNow's customers to help them return to support from Oracle or find other options.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment.

SAP's U.S.-listed shares rose 51 cents to $55.95. Oracle shares fell 9 cents to $21.09.

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