(Reuters) – Oracle Corp won unconditional European Union approval on Thursday for its $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems, a month after offering public pledges to sooth regulatory concerns.The acquisition will reshape the high-tech landscape, with world No. 2 business software maker Oracle moving into the hardware business. Sun is the top player in the $17 billion high-end computer server market.
Meanwhile, on Jan. 27, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison plans to outline the corporate strategy of the combined companies after the deal eventually closes. He, along with other executives, is expected to reveal product roadmaps and explain how the integration of hardware, software infrastructure and applications will benefit customers.
In an invitation to the Webcast, Oracle foreshadowed some of what Ellison will discuss, including that the combined Oracle-Sun will offer a range of products including storage, servers, networking and software that are fully integrated. Other plans include the simplification of IT management and reduction of costs for deployment and integration. In terms of future development, Ellison is expected to commit support to Sun’s SPARC, Solaris and Java platforms.
In winning the EU’s approval, Oracle promised in December to keep the market open for others to make storage engine software for Sun’s MySQL database and said it would be more open than MySQL’s previous owners.
It also pledged to invest more in MySQL research and development over the next three years and set up a separate customer advisory board of MySQL users.
The European Commission had started an in-depth investigation of the deal in September, citing concerns about the competition impact on MySQL.
"I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products," EU
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
The Commission said its decision took into account Oracle’s public pledges and that the company had already implemented some of its promises.
Oracle had in August last year received the green light from the U.S. Department of Justice for its takeover of Sun, developer of Java software, among the world’s most widely used computer languages.
Authorities in China and Russia have yet to approve the deal.
(Editing by Dale Hudson.)