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EU to take longer look at Oracle-PeopleSoft

The European Union Commission will launch a four-month investigation into the proposed takeover, ruling that the bid requires "further analysis."

The European Union Commission announced today it will conduct an intensive four-month investigation into the proposed $7.5 billion takeover of PeopleSoft Inc. by enterprise software rival Oracle Corp.

According to the commission, given the amount of business the two software vendors do in Europe, regulatory clearance will be needed for the takeover to proceed. The investigation will focus on enterprise software applications and the database market.

"The combination of two of the largest competitors in the market merits further analysis," the commission said in a statement.

Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif., first announced plans to acquire its Pleasanton, Calif.-based rival in June and has extended its offer to shareholders five times. The current offer stands at $19.50 per share.

On Monday afternoon PeopleSoft shares were trading at $20.64.

The takeover attempt also faces scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice, which is expected to issue a decision this month or next.

In a statement, PeopleSoft, which has resisted the takeover, said it raises potential anticompetitive concerns, "is not in the best interest of stockholders and undervalues the company."

Oracle said it expected the European Commission's further review. "We are in this for the long haul and we remain committed to completing our intended acquisition of PeopleSoft," spokesman Jim Finn said in a statement.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Timeline: Following the acquisitions trail

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