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Oracle wins unconditional EU approval for Sun buy

Oracle Corp won unconditional European Union approval for its $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems, a month after offering public pledges to sooth regulatory concerns.

The acquisition will reshape the high-tech landscape, with world No. 2 business software maker Oracle moving into the hardware business. Sun is the top player in the $17 billion high-end computer server market.

Oracle promised in December to keep the market open for others to make storage engine software for Sun's MySQL database and said it would be more open than MySQL's previous owners.

It also pledged to invest more in MySQL research and development over the next three years and set up a separate customer advisory board of MySQL users.

The European Commission had started an in-depth investigation of the deal in September, citing concerns about the competition impact on MySQL.

“I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

The Commission said its decision took into account Oracle's public pledges and that the company had already implemented some of its promises.

Oracle had in August last year received the green light from the US Department of Justice for its takeover of Sun, developer of Java software, among the world's most widely used computer languages.

Authorities in China and Russia have yet to approve the deal. (Reuters)