We started hearing rumours yesterday, and today we see they were true:
“The commission has to examine very carefully the effects on competition in Europe when the world’s leading proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open source database company,” said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes in the statement.
Ever since we woke up in Santa Clara that Monday morning when Oracle had bought Sun, most people said that MySQL will not be considered by regulators since its tiny revenue makes it irrelevant in a market competition comparison. I'm glad to see the EU Commission understands the nature of MySQL being Open Source better. The whole point of competition is of course that MySQL is the low cost alternative pressing prices down (not to mention you can use it for free), so you should expect it to have low revenue compared to the high priced proprietary alternatives. It just wasn't the right way to look at this.
As you may have noticed from my Twitter feed I put in quite many hours in answering the questionnaire from the Commission on behalf of Monty Program Ab. I'm happy to see that they have been reading it. I know also many European MySQL customers gave their input.
I'll now have to heed the advice of our advisor and not blog too much about this (anything you say will be used against you...), I promise to tell more when it's all over.
I don't know exactly what will happen next, but if you have good material on how MySQL is competing against Oracle, and why MySQL being Open Source doesn't really help you if you are an OEM customer using the dual license, then make sure the Commision is aware of you directly, or just contact me at hingo *at* askmonty.org and I can forward anything that looks useful (once I know what the EU wants next).