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Mich. joins suit to block Oracle on PeopleSoft

Michigan is the latest state to join the mounting group, including the U.S. government an dother states, who want to block Oracle's proposed takeover of PeopleSoft.
/ Source: Reuters

The attorney general for the state of Michigan said Wednesday he will join the U.S. government and several states including Connecticut in filing suit to block Oracle's stalled takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.

Attorney General Mike Cox said in a statement that Michigan would be the eighth state to join with the U.S. Department of Justice in seeking to block Oracle's hostile bid to acquire PeopleSoft Inc.

The proposed merger would combine two of the leading makers of business planning software.

Critics, including several state governments, have sought to derail Oracle's proposed $9.4 billion merger on antitrust grounds, arguing that Oracle, PeopleSoft and rival SAP of Germany are the only companies with sufficient scale to compete in the market for big business planning software.

Oracle says that the business software market has matured and is overdue for consolidation. It defends its deal as "pro-competitive" and necessary in order to better compete with SAP, the market leader, and Microsoft Corp., which is making inroads into the market after several smaller acquisitions.

Cox said that if Oracle acquires PeopleSoft, the merger would impair competition between businesses, government agencies, and other organizations that depend on the software.

"Some estimates place the cost to Michigan taxpayers at more than $130 million," the Michigan official's statement said.