Since the European Commission announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle with a focus on MySQL there has been no shortage of opinion written about Oracle’s impending ownership of MySQL and its impact on MySQL users and commercial partners, as well as MySQL’s business model, dual licensing and the GPL.
In order to try and bring some order to the conversation, we have brought together some of the most referenced blog posts and news stories in chronological order.
Part one took us from the announcement of the EC’s in-depth investigation up to the eve of the communication of the EC’s Statement of Objections.
Part two took us from there to the eve of the announcement of Oracle’s concessions.
We will continue to update part three, below, until either the acquisition or the EC’s investigation closes.
December 14: Oracle – Oracle Makes Commitments to Customers, Developers and Users of MySQL
“Oracle has engaged in constructive discussions with the European Commission regarding the concerns expressed by the Commission about the Oracle/Sun Microsystems transaction, and in particular the maintenance of MySQL as a competitive force in the database market. In order further to reassure the Commission, Oracle hereby publicly commits to the following…”
December 14: Commission welcomes Oracle’s MySQL announcement
“Today’s announcement by Oracle of a series of undertakings to customers, developers and users of MySQL is an important new element to be taken into account in the ongoing proceedings. In particular, Oracle’s binding contractual undertakings to storage engine vendors regarding copyright non-assertion and the extension over a period of up to 5 years of the terms and conditions of existing commercial licenses are significant new facts. In this context, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes recalls and confirms her statement of 9 December 2009 that she is optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome.”
December 14: Jeremy Zawodny – Trust Oracle? Why?
“Back a few years ago when Oracle dismissing MySQL in public while working hard against it in private, I realized that they were simply trying everything they could to protect their crowned jewels: public denials and classic FUD paired with hush-hugh backroom deals. Nobody has managed to explain, in even a mildly convincing way, what has changed since then. Why should we suddenly trust Oracle? Their crowned jewels are still threatened by MySQL.”
December 14: BusinessWeek – How Oracle Disarmed EU Critics
“The most influential provision in assuaging regulators’ concerns about the proposed acquisition may be one of the least noticed. Amid Oracle’s commitments was a pledge to let other technology vendors continue licensing MySQL for use in their products for another five years.”
December 14: Paul McCullogh – Monty’s appeal is selfless!
“If Oracle slows and closes up development, rejects community contributions and creates a commercial version of MySQL, then Monty Program’s MariaDB fork will become very popular, very quickly. Which would translate into income for Monty Program Ab as customers come to his company for additions, features and bug fixes that they need to secure there own production. What Monty is concerned about is the commercial vendors of MySQL (one of which Monty Program is not).”
December 15: Henrik Ingo – We scared Oracle a little, but their promises for MySQL are mostly an insult to the Commission
“5 years, or any amount of years, as a limit to such assurances is not satisfactory and customers and partners would immediately loose interest in MySQL with this promise. The only workable solution has to be perpetual and irrevocable promises.”
December 15: Stephen O’Grady – Oracle, MySQL and the EU: The Endgame Q&A
“Remember June of 2008? Oracle hiked its prices by 15-20% with no detectible impact to its volume. If MySQL was a real, substantial alternative, wouldn’t we have seen wholesale migrations away from Oracle to MySQL? That we didn’t, and continue not to, tells me they’re two different markets.”
December 16: Sheeri Cabral – A MySQL Community Member Opinion of Oracle Buying Sun
“The FUD about Oracle slowing development MySQL are not valid, and not true. The motivations behind those spreading this FUD are monetary and selfish. As a community member, I have seen Oracle put plenty of time, money and effort into developing InnoDB. I look forward to even more of Oracle’s resources being used to develop MySQL further.”
December 16: Monty Widenius – Oracle gives only empty promises for MySQL
“Oracle is trying to win the case through press releases and public pressure instead of really eliminating the European Commission’s concerns. They show no respect for the European authorities or how we do things here. Oracle just want to dictate their own terms and expect us to accept them on face value.”
December 17: AP – Oracle expects EU to approve Sun deal next month
“Oracle’s president, Safra Catz, said in a statement Thursday that the company now expects that European regulators will “unconditionally” approve the Sun acquisition in January.”
December 28: Monty Widenius – Help keep the Internet free
Monty Widenius launches his petition to help save MySQL by claiming (amongst other things) that “It’s not in the Internet users interest that one key piece of the net would be owned by an entity that has more to gain by severely limiting and in the long run even killing it as an open source product than by keeping it alive.”
December 29: Mark Callaghan – Save MySQL, save the world
“MPAB continues to drive away potential supporters with the tone of their messages, the inclusion of pointless assertions, and the complete lack of references.”
December 29: Sheeri Cabral – Save MySQL by letting Oracle keep it GPL
“I cannot say whether or not Oracle would kill MySQL. However, I have already stated I believe Oracle will not kill MySQL. This is based on the fact that Oracle has had the chance to kill MySQL for several years, by making InnoDB proprietary, and has not.”
January 3: David Nielsen – Why “helping MySQL” reflects poorly on us all
“This has nothing to do with the software’s freedom status and given the FSF’s behavior as well as argumentation throughout recent years, the entirety of the inherent freedoms remain intact even when forking the existing codebase, meaning that this is entirely about the right to make money from proprietary use cases of the code.”
January 4: Reuters – MySQL founder mobilizes 14,000 against Oracle-Sun
“Michael Widenius, the creator of the MySQL database and a potential stumbling block for Oracle in its takeover of Sun, handed 14,000 signatures opposing the deal to regulators in Europe, China and Russia.”
January 11: CAOS Theory – Save MySQL would not spare open source M&A
“I believe that separating out open source components, parts, projects and subsidiaries from vendors could certainly serve to dull the shine of open source software assets and vendors amid M&A valuations, prospects and strategy.”
January 15: CBR – MySQL co-founder doubts Oracle support
“David Axmark has told CBR that he believes there is ‘no real reason’ for Oracle to support the open source database application… Axmark added, however, that it is unlikely Oracle will kill off the database and that current MySQL customers should not be too badly affected by the takeover… Axmark also believes that aiming MySQL at a market where Oracle’s existing database applications do not operate will mean that the two can coexist.”
January 17: Marc Fleury – Save MySQL?
“This is making OSS acquisitions look very dangerous and dicey. JBoss is finally making a ton of money for Red Hat (>100MUSD/yr) but after 3 years, a few false starts and fumbles. It was a steep learning curve on both sides. But, so far the MySQL situation is a disgrace and just looks like a huge mistake. Hopefully the VMWare crew does a better and more discreet job of successfully integrating an OSS company.”
January 17: MySQL founder turns to China, Russia to halt Oracle
“Michael Widenius, the creator of the MySQL database, said he is turning his vocal campaign against Oracle’s planned takeover of Sun Microsystems to China and Russia because the European Commission appears set to clear the deal.”
January 20: Oracle – Larry Ellison to Unveil Oracle + Sun Strategy at Company Event on January 27th
“Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, along with executives from Oracle and Sun, will outline the strategy for the combined companies, product roadmaps, and how customers will benefit from having all components – hardware, operating system, database, middleware, and applications – engineered to work together.”
January 21: European Commission – Commission clears Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems
“Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “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 revitalise important assets and create new and innovative products.””