About European Commission in-depth investigation into Oracle-Sun Merger

The European Union took the decision to opens in-depth investigation for fear of prices hikes, and IT veterans, open source experts and economists negatively commented the news.

Before expressing any opinion let’s see what the Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said:

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. In particular, the Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover. Databases are a key element of company IT systems. In the current economic context, all companies are looking for cost-effective IT solutions, and systems based on open-source software are increasingly emerging as viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. The Commission has to ensure that such alternatives would continue to be available.

MySQL is a tiny player in the database arena, but the importance of the most famous open source database goes well beyond its market share, indeed. MySQL is a fundamental building block of most open source stacks, and because of that is a very precious piece of open source code.

Neelie Kroes and the European Union might protect the extinction of MySQL in a much less ‘visible’ and yet effective way. EU open source funds are huge, and sometimes big bucks are spent in some debatable directions, if they want to help MySQL survival they could run a specific public tender.

EU has a chance to put our European money where its mouth is.