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'Oracle should sell MySQL to get Sun'

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CIOL Bureau
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HELSINKI, FINLAND: Oracle Corp should resolve antitrust concerns over its acquisition of Sun by committing to selling Sun's open source database MySQL, Michael Widenius, the creator of MySQL, said on Monday.

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European Union antitrust regulators launched on Sept. 3 an in-depth probe into world No. 2 software maker Oracle's $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems Inc on concerns the deal could dent competition in the database market.

"MySQL needs a different home than Oracle, a home where there will be no conflicts of interest concerning how, or if, MySQL should be developed further," Widenius said in a statement.

MySQL is used to run popular websites operated by companies include Google Inc, Facebook and Amazon.com. Its main customer base is small and mid-sized businesses. Its primary competitor is Microsoft Corp's SQL Server.

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Oracle's database, which is the top-selling product in the market, is far more robust, allowing companies to quickly access larger quantities of data.

Most companies that use MySQL do not pay for the software, which is available under a free, open-source license. Sun also offers a paid version that comes with support services.

The delay could hurt Sun, the No. 4 maker of computer servers, by allowing its rivals more time to poach customers before Sun became part of Oracle, the world's No. 3 software maker, and thus became able to take advantage of its sales resources, analysts said.

Rivals Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM have already been offering discounts and other incentives to woo Sun customers since Oracle agreed to buy Sun in April.

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