The saga of Oracle's $7 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which started back in April 2009, is near its end.
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) today announced that the European Commission has finally provided it with unconditional regulatory approval to acquire Sun. The Europeans had held up the acquisition for months over concerns about how the open source MySQL database owned by Sun would exist under Oracle ownership. European regulators formally made their objections known back in November.
U.S. regulators and lawmakers did not have any similar objections to the Sun-Oracle deal. A group of 59 U.S. senators went as far as to send an open letter to the Europeans to pressure them into approving the deal.
Now, with the European approval, Oracle still need to get two more countries to give them the thumbs-up for the Sun deal. Oracle noted in a statement this morning that it expects the unconditional approval of China and Russia soon. Oracle has already scheduled an event for Jan. 27 to discuss the new business unit.
It is possible however that China and Russia could still prove to be another obstacle for Oracle, according to MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, a vocal opponent of the deal for months. Russia, at least, has already raised questions about the anticompetitive implications for MySQL's takeover.
With the deal now one step nearer to its close, the fate of Sun employees could also soon be known. Sun has already denied reports that nearly 50 percent of its workforce could be cut as a result of Oracle's acquisition.