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Oracle Corp. is taking on the U.S. Department of Justice.

After the Justice Department, joined by seven states’ attorneys general, announced Thursday it will seek to block Oracle’s $9.4 billion takeover of PeopleSoft Inc. by federal injunction, Oracle’s board of directors voted to challenge the deal.

Oracle also dropped its slate of five nominees for PeopleSoft’s board of directors—the election is scheduled for March 25—and extended its tender offer to June 25. The previous tender offer was scheduled to end March 2.

R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Thursday that a merger between Oracle and PeopleSoft would be anticompetitive, raise prices and lessen innovation in the e-business software sector.

“Through a range of evidence we will demonstrate that the companies who are able to meet the needs [of private and public organizations] are Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP [AG],” said Pate in a press conference at the DOJ’s Washington headquarters Thursday. “That’s something of which there has been broad recognition since this transaction was announced. We have developed careful evidence to prove that in court and I think we’ll do that.”

Oracle said in a statement it will vigorously challenge the Justice Department’s stance on the grounds that its three-vendor claim “does not fit with the reality of the highly competitive, dynamic and rapidly changing market.”

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