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Oracle Postpones PeopleSoft Lawsuit

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Posted July 1, 2003 By Michael Singer     Feedback

The company maintains its fight to remove its rival's 'poison pill' but delays a legal hearing after a second request for anti-trust information by the Justice Department.

Database software maker Oracle Tuesday said it will delay its legal fight with PeopleSoft after an inquiry by the federal government this week.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based firm said it has mutually agreed with the other parties in the Delaware Chancery Court litigation case originally scheduled for July 16. Discovery in the cases are expected to continue. The parties have agreed to meet with the court on July 25.

"This is simply a postponement of the hearing date, which made sense to all parties given the second request Oracle received from the Department of Justice yesterday and the longer timetable it implies," Oracle spokesperson Jim Finn said in a statement.

The company Monday received a request for additional information from the U.S. Justice Department as part of its investigation into possible antitrust violations.

Oracle is looking to acquire Pleasanton, Calif.'s PeopleSoft June 6 for $5.1 billion, but after a series of verbal and legal spats, upped its offer to $6.3 billion on June 18.

The No. 2 business software maker's legal action is retaliation for being sued by Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft and JD Edwards , which is the target of its own $1.7 billion acquisition bid by PeopleSoft.

Oracle's argument is that PeopleSoft didn't give its offer a fair review before denouncing it in front of shareholders.

"Oracle continues to maintain that PeopleSoft and its board have breached their fiduciary duties to PeopleSoft's shareholders, and Oracle will continue to seek redemption of the PeopleSoft 'poison pill,'" Finn said.

Despite the court delay, PeopleSoft's board Tuesday issued another missive against Oracle saying the offer "poses extraordinary risks and is destructive to stockholder value."

The board also reiterated the a combination of PeopleSoft and Oracle faces many months of delay for review by antitrust authorities and "a significant likelihood that, in the end, the transaction would be blocked as anticompetitive."

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