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Oracle to contact PeopleSoft customers; DOJ seeks more info on acquisition

As federal regulators asked for more information regarding its PeopleSoft takeover bid, Oracle launched an initiative to reassure customers fears about the acquisition.

As federal regulators asked for more information regarding its PeopleSoft takeover bid, Oracle Corp. launched an initiative to reassure customers that the acquisition would not harm them.

Oracle plans to heighten its advertising campaign, as well as directly contact each of PeopleSoft's 5,100 customers. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based applications giant will be informing them of plans to support PeopleSoft products for 10 years beyond the timeframe that PeopleSoft was committed to. Oracle also said it would not force customers to migrate to its own E-Business Suite, but would offer a free module-for-module switch for those interested in making the move.

Oracle announced intentions to add PeopleSoft specialists to its support team and to make enhancements to existing PeopleSoft tools.

"We are determined to provide PeopleSoft customers with more responsive and global support than they've ever enjoyed," said Chuck Phillips, Oracle executive vice president.

Late Monday the U.S. Department of Justice issued a second request for information regarding Oracle's takeover bid.

"We were not surprised given the size and scope of the transaction and the fact that PeopleSoft is also proposing its own transaction, which is undergoing regulatory review," Oracle spokesperson Jim Finn said in a news release.

Oracle made its initial offer for Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft on June 6, just four days after PeopleSoft had announced plans to merge with rival J.D. Edwards & Company, Denver.

Nearly two weeks ago Oracle raised its offer for PeopleSoft to $6.3 billion or $19.50 per share. Oracle set a July 7 deadline for stockholders to tender their shares but could extend that given regulators' latest request.

"We remain optimistic that the Department of Justice will conclude that this transaction is not anti-competitive, and that we will complete the transaction in a timely manner," Finn said.

Meantime, wire services on Tuesday reported that PeopleSoft has sent a letter to shareholders urging them to reject Oracle's offer.

"We believe the tender offer Oracle has made poses extraordinary risks and is destructive to shareholder value," the letter said.


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