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News.com: "Larry's War: Oracle vs. SAP"
April 18, 2005
Mark Rittman

Larry's war: Oracle vs. SAP : "Ellison's attack on SAP goes far deeper than words, as Oracle's recent acquisitions show. First, Oracle launched a full assault on joint rival PeopleSoft, which ended in a $10 billion hostile takeover of the company and one of the largest mergers ever in the software industry. Oracle quickly followed that up by arm wrestling SAP for ownership of Retek, paying more than $600 million for the company--about twice its market value before the bids started rolling in. Oracle's buying spree is uncharacteristic and an about-face for Ellison, who once declared that the sure sign of a struggling software company is that it starts writing checks instead of software. The strategy is also aimed squarely at SAP, which Oracle has long sought to overtake in the market for enterprise applications software, programs that help companies organize accounting, staffing, sales and logistical tasks. After years of faltering in that $47 billion market, Oracle is charting a bold new course, analysts said. But it's risky, too. Big software acquisitions are rarely blazing successes ... If Ellison can pull it off, the strategy has the potential to not only reshape his company but the entire industry, one analyst said ... But as things stand, it's all a very big if. The road to knocking SAP off its pedestal via acquisition is littered with numerous wrecks." An excellent summary of the challenges Oracle is going to face in making a success of their recent acquisitions. 

 

   
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