[Fsf-friends] Letter to the European Commission opposing Oracle's acquisition of MySQL

Anivar Aravind anivar.aravind at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 11:21:27 IST 2009

The following is a letter that KEI, Richard Stallman ORG have sent to the
European Commission, asking the European Commission to prevent Oracle from
acquiring MySQL as part of its acquisition of Sun. The European Commission
has the authority to require a divestiture of MySQL, so that it would not be
part of the merger, in order to ensure that MySQL would operate
independently, or be sold to a different company that would not face the
same conflicts as Oracle does.


KEI sees the MySQL acquisition as an important precedent for the application
of competition laws to free software. Traditional market analysis looks at
revenue based market shares, which are meaningless for software distributed
gratis or licensed under prices that reflect fees for services. Many
important free software services are supported by some type of commercial
business model, and can be fragile, if acquired by a firm that has an
interest in diluting or destroying the longer run viability of the free
software project.

We recognize the support Sun provides to increase competition in numerous
markets through its support of FLOSS and open standards. We also recognize
that Oracle's acquisition of Sun may be essential for Sun's survival.
However, Oracle should not be allowed to harm consumer interests in the
database market by weakening the competition provided by MySQL. For the
reasons elucidated above, we ask that you block Oracle's acquisition of


"[It is not] possible to distinguish between 'numerical' and 'nonnumerical'
algorithms, as if numbers were somehow different from other kinds of precise
information." - Donald Knuth
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