Just when you thought the Oracle
According to newly released excerpts of PeopleSoft's expanded lawsuit, Oracle's bid for the software company was allegedly designed to damage PeopleSoft and derail its now-completed acquisition of J.D. Edwards
PeopleSoft's lawsuit includes Oracle employee emails that PeopleSoft says show the database giant's real intentions with its hostile takeover attempt. A day after Oracle announced its bid for PeopleSoft, an unidentified Oracle employee wrote, "We've certainly wounded PSFT... Even if we don't end up closing the deal, this is going to take PSFT some time to recover. And, of course, our corporate image of being aggressive, brash, and marching to the tune of a different drummer has been reinforced."
PeopleSoft also says that Oracle wanted to completely do away with PeopleSoft's products. An email from Oracle's executive vice president, Safra Catz, reads, "This is a really exciting opportunity for Oracle. Though we really won't be continuing their product line or combining operations, there will no doubt be challenges."
Oracle, however, had been open from the get-go about its intention not to continue to produce and sell PeopleSoft products. It said it would provide support for PeopleSoft's customers, but that's about it. Oracle would eventually try to switch those customers over to its own products.
Finally, PeopleSoft alleges that Oracle was hoping the uncertainties around the former's future would drive its share price down, thereby making Oracle's original $16-a-share bid seem more attractive. One email was quoted as saying, "The more something hurts PSFT, the more likely the share price drops and $16 starts to look better."
Oracle says that the emails are being taken out of context, and that this is simply another "diversionary move" by PeopleSoft. There's no hearing date set yet for PeopleSoft's case, and Oracle's $7.3 billion bid for the company is on hold until November, pending the Justice Department's antitrust investigation.
Like curious drivers unable to look away from a gruesome traffic accident, we keep getting pulled back into this drama. We can't wait to see the next episode.