The Department of Justice today said it would not appeal a judge's ruling that a combined Oracle-PeopleSoft would be anti-competitive.
R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for the DOJ, announced the department's intentions and brought an end to the government's role in the $7.7 billion takeover saga. Last month, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of Oracle when he said a takeover would not violate antitrust laws.
Today's announcement came shortly after PeopleSoft replaced its CEO Craig Conway with the company's founder Dave Duffield. Conway was PeopleSoft's biggest champion in the fight to ward off Oracle's takeover attempt.
The decision not to appeal the ruling does not remove all the hurdles for Oracle. The 10 states involved in the case could still choose to push forward with an appeal on their own, but Pate told the Associated Press they would face an uphill battle.
Oracle also faces a "poison pill" effort by PeopleSoft which would dilute the company's shares making a takeover more difficult. A lawsuit filed by PeopleSoft also stands in the way as does a decision from the European Commission, which could still elect to challenge the acquisition. PeopleSoft is seeking $1 billion in damages for unfair business practices. That case is scheduled for trial Jan 10. Oracle has also filed suit against PeopleSoft's board of directors.
Oracle announced its satisfaction with the government's decision in a press release issued Friday.
"We are now looking forward to the trial in Delaware of our claims against the PeopleSoft board of directors for their actions over the past year which have seriously damaged, and continue to damage, shareholder value," the release said. "We look forward to bringing these actions to light in the trial, which starts on Monday."
In its own release, PeopleSoft said its Board would meet and consider the implications of the DOJ announcement and noted that it has rejected Oracle's most current offer of $21 per share.