Monday, October 19, 2009

The Oracle/Sun merger and the MySQL issue

On April 20th, Oracle agreed to buy Sun Microsystems. Yet the merger has not yet occurred.

The deal was approved by the US authorities in August, but in September the European Union announced that it was not yet ready to approve the deal, and wanted more time to review the particulars.

The issue appears to involve Oracle's likely treatment of the MySQL database product, which Sun purchased in January 2008.

Oracle's relationship with MySQL has a long history; Oracle purchased part of the MySQL product line, namely the InnoDB storage engine, in 2005, although four years later commentators are still discussing the results of that transition.

Now, over the weekend, Michael Widenius has released his opinions on the Internet; namely, that the MySQL product needs to be spun off in order for the Oracle/Sun merger to be approved.

I believe that the EU has given itself until January 2010 to make a decision, so this public discussion about the future of MySQL will probably continue to make news all fall.

Update: This morning's New York Times has an analysis of the current state of the deal by "The Deal Professor".

Update 2: An interesting essay with various links and comments.

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