|By Maureen O'Gara||
|November 13, 2009 04:00 PM EST||
MySQL co-developer Monty Widenius, said to have the business sense of a child by MySQL's old management, and his hired help Florian Mueller, who made a killing on his MySQL stock when Sun lost its mind and bid a billion dollars for the Scandinavian company, paying 20 times revenues, are now insisting that Oracle should be made to divest MySQL so it can take over a fading Sun.
They would like it to happen before December 17 when Sun has its next shareholders meeting, a date that's a month ahead of when the European Commission is supposed to make its final decision and a few weeks after Oracle's November 25 hearing before the EC.
Monty and Florian, who claim the purchase puts Oracle in a conflict-of-interest position since to them Oracle and MySQL are interchangeable, are whispering in the ear of the EC, which is proposing to block the acquisition - a move that would probably kill Sun although Monty and Florian are laboring under the delusion that it could somehow soldier on and save MySQL.
Florian says divestiture is the EC's preferred resolution since "clean structural remedies" are better than ineffectual behavioral ones and forking - which appears to be everybody's safety net - is not an option - it's not "commercially viable," he says. A forked MySQL wouldn't have the revenue base to fund development and wouldn't have a brand name.
After weeks of asking Florian who he thinks should acquire MySQL he comes up with the name Novell, a company inducted into open source by a loan from IBM that enabled it to buy SUSE - IBM was afraid Red Hat would turn into another Microsoft - and whose open source credentials have been tarnished by its financially dependent relationship on Microsoft.
Of course just because Florian mentions Novell doesn't mean that's what he really means but, on the face of it, it does suggest that Oracle is right in pinning the blame for its current quandary on IBM.
Florian and Monty maintain that Oracle - no matter what it says about MySQL not being competitor - is spooked by the high-end Linux-based competitive challenge of the revenue-deprived open source MySQL since - in their opinion Oracle and MySQL go head-to-head - and are encouraging regulators in Russia, China and Switzerland to go down the same path as the European Commission and challenge Oracle's acquisition in what amounts to a gang bang.
Observers suggest there's another mystery reason for all this, but say they don't know what it is. IBM of course does have a heavy investment in Java, which would also pass to Oracle.
With an EC gun to its head, it's unlikely Oracle could fetch what Sun foolishly paid for MySQL and Oracle certainly doesn't want to create another competitor.
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