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Larry, I'm from the Goverment and I'm Here to Help

August 21

The longer Larry Ellisonís well-publicized bid for Peoplesoft goes on, the more he faces goverment bureaucratic roadblocks. As we reported earlier, Oracle stepped up after Peoplesoftís recent JD Edwards acquisition with a sweetened $6.3 billion offer, an effort that was greeted by a flurry of trash talk from Peoplesoft execs.

Now comes word that the the Canadian goverment wants a seat at the deal table. Seems that if the merged companies generate $400 million in Canadian import sales per month or more, then the bureaucrats can nix the deal, or fine the offender big time. Having foreigners controlling Canadian subsidiaries apparently rankles the bureaucrats, or maybe they just see an opportunity to pick up a little loose change.

Then there's the recent track record of economic meddling exhibited by US State Attorneys General, embolded as they are by their tobacco, New York investment bank, and (more limited) Microsoft successes. Some 30 such tinpot business czars may start rattling their swords at Ellison if he doesn't figure out ways to pacify them or otherwise buy them off.

Beset by these Lilliputian marauders, time is not on Ellison's side. He needs to close this deal soon.


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