Federal Lawyers Block Oracle Takeover of PeopleSoft

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Justice Department lawyers have recommended the government block Oracle's hostile takeover of rival PeopleSoft, citing anti-trust reasons.

The news comes the same week that PeopleSoft's board chose to reject Oracle's new offer of $26 per share, up from the original offer of $19.50 per share in the $9.4 billion hostile takeover bid. The PeopleSoft board called the offer inadequate, according to Information Week

"PeopleSoft's lobbying resulted in complicating and prolonging the Justice Department review of the merger," an Oracle spokesman said in a prepared statement. "While no decision has yet been made, Oracle believes this merger will eventually be approved."

The Justice Department lawyers are calling for the government to file suit to stop the merger, but Oracle executives expressed confidence that the deal will still go through. No final decision from the federal government is expected until early March.

"Our best and final price has been put on the table," Oracle co-president Charles Phillips said this week of the offer this week to PeopleSoft. "The reason it's taken so long is the huge amount of material the DOJ has requested. It began basic. We put forth a lot of facts that support our position, but you never know."

He added, "I can't get specific, but our acquisition strategy isn't limited to applications," he said. "All I can say is we are looking at all relevant markets that we already operate in."

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