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Oracle attempts to acquire MySQL

February 18th, 2006

This article notes that Oracle has been making overtures to the wildly-popular MySQL database:

MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos confirmed the acquisition attempt in an interview at the Open Source Business Conference here but wouldn't provide details such as when the approach was made or how much money Oracle offered.

He did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL," Mickos said.  Oracle didn't immediately comment on the acquisition offer. The acquisition would have been a smart move for Oracle, said Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady.

"It all comes back to the question of cannibalizing an existing business," O'Grady said. "If you determine that to some extent it's inevitable, wouldn't you prefer that you do it, instead of your competitors?"

MySQL has become an increasing threat in the web-based small database market, and their acquisition of top-shelf Oracle experts such as Robin Schumacher has strengthened MySQL as a competitor to the smaller Oracle offerings such as Oracle XE:

In reality, the MySQL and Oracle do compete. "They're obviously entrenched in different areas of the market--Oracle at the high end, MySQL in the higher-volume, lower-end space," O'Grady said. "But is there overlap in the middle? Sure."


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