Monday, March 01, 2004

Quick look at DOJ's complaint against Oracle

Last month I wrote an analysis of what I thought would be the DOJ's definition of the market in deciding whether to allow Oracle's takeover of PeopleSoft to proceed. Now that the DOJ has filed its complaint, we can see if I was right.

It appears that DOJ has limited its definition of the market in which Oracle and PeopleSoft compete as "high function Human Resource Management (HRM) software and high function Financial Management Services (FMS) software," rather than the whole array of enterprise systems, as I did in my analysis. Nevertheless, DOJ is making essentially the same argument that I predicted. I suspect that DOJ chose to limit its market definition to HRM and FMS so as to show a larger number of organizations affected. Although PeopleSoft sells the entire suite of enterprise applications, its installed base is disproportionately weighted toward HRM and FMS. So by defining the market in terms of "high function" HRM and FMS, it will be easier for DOJ to show a greater competitive overlap. Although I did indicate that Lawson competes with PeopleSoft in HR and financial systems, I still believe that this is more the case in the mid-tier, not the high end of the market.

The DOJ complaint against Oracle is on the DOJ web site.

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