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United States v. Oracle Corporation
United States District Court for the District of Northern California
331 F. Supp. 2d 1098 (2004)
Oracle Corporation (defendant) was the number one firm that developed and sold enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) system software, a type of enterprise-application software. The other major ERP developers were PeopleSoft, Inc., the number two firm in the market, and SAP, a German company, though many smaller companies produced ERP software. ERP software integrates a company’s data across the company’s activities. ERP programs that focus on a particular aspect of business are called pillars. The human-relations-management pillar (HRM) contains modules that automate payroll, benefits, time management, and other aspects of human relations. The financial-management-systems (FMS) pillar contains modules that automate ledgers, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other aspects of financial management. The government (plaintiff) classified software that could simultaneously be used by thousands of users as high function, and products meant for smaller organizations were classified as mid-market. Oracle sought to acquire PeopleSoft. The government sought to enjoin Oracle’s acquisition, arguing that the merger of Oracle and PeopleSoft would further restrict an already highly concentrated market of high-function HRM and FMS software in the United States, creating a duopoly of the merged companies and SAP America in violation of § 7 of the Clayton Act.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Walker, C.J.)
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