Oracle NZ group uneasy about PeopleSoft bid

Customers could lose out through the culling of ERP vendor ranks that would result from Oracle's bid for PeopleSoft, believes a representative of New Zealand Oracle users.

Customers could lose out through the culling of ERP vendor ranks that would result from Oracle's bid for PeopleSoft, believes a representative of New Zealand Oracle users.

That's the initial reaction of Oracle user group president Michelle Teirney to Oracle's bid, revealed in the same week that PeopleSoft announced its intention to buy JD Edwards.

"If there's a rapid reduction in the number of ERP systems on the market, it's not necessarily in the best interests of end-users."

Oracle's move, announced on Friday, would involve the database and e-commerce suite vendor buying PeopleSoft for $US5.1 billion. It overshadowed PeopleSoft's own announcement, four days earlier, that it was to acquire JD Edwards, a plan which generally met with a favourable response.

Oracle has said it would review the JD Edwards acquisition should its own bid for PeopleSoft be successful.

PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway has reacted angrily to the Oracle bid, saying it amounts to "atrociously bad behaviour".

However, Oracle's Larry Ellison counters that the two companies held merger talks last year (which failed) and so Oracle's move is logical.

Ellison has also criticised PeopleSoft's planned takeover of JDE, saying an Oracle takeover of PeopleSoft makes more sense.

Oracle faces some hurdles, including a "poison pill" clause in PeopleSoft's constitution which allows PeopleSoft to raise the price per share of Oracle's offer, currently $US16.

Also, regulatory authorities may not look kindly on the number of competitors in the ERP field effectively being reduced to two, Oracle and SAP.

Oracle plans to stop seeking new PeopleSoft product customers and ultimately migrate existing ones to Oracle applications, incorporating some PeopleSoft technology in its e-business suite.

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