Oracle asks judge to dismiss DOJ's case

Oracle Corp. on Thursday asked a federal judge to dismiss the U.S. government's lawsuit to block its proposed takeover of PeopleSoft Inc., arguing the government did not prove the US$7.7 billion merger would be anticompetitive.

Oracle filed the motion to dismiss after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finished presenting its case. Filing such a motion is standard procedure for defendants after the plaintiff rests its case.

In the motion, Oracle presents several reasons for Judge Vaughn Walker to throw out the lawsuit. The DOJ asserts that an Oracle-PeopleSoft merger would unacceptably reduce competition in the market for a type of "high function" enterprise applications used by large corporations, resulting in price increases.

Oracle argues that the DOJ failed to define a geographic market and product category and did not prove lack of competition and price discrimination against the interests of large and complex enterprises. Oracle also says the DOJ did not prove that a merger would result in price increases or create a software giant that would have a competitive effect.

Judge Walker has yet to rule on Oracle's motion.

The closely followed case is currently in its third week and is scheduled to take one more week, with testimony presented by witnesses for Oracle. The witness list includes PeopleSoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Craig Conway and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

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