J.D. Edwards Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Dutkowsky challenged Oracle's commitment to customer choice based on its attempted hostile takeover of PeopleSoft which, according to Dutkowsky, will sharply reduce options for business software customers and possibly violate U.S. and European antitrust laws. On June 2, 2003, J.D. Edwards entered into a definitive agreement to merge with PeopleSoft.
"Oracle's hostile tender offer for PeopleSoft will eliminate at least one of Oracle's major competitors in several market spaces to the obvious detriment of customers," said Dutkowsky.
"Oracle's elimination of a competitor, its products and their ongoing development would reduce customer choice and product support, and would leave many customers with greatly diminished options," said Dutkowsky. "This harm to customers is exactly what antitrust laws are intended to protect against."
Dutkowsky made the comments in front of a standing room only press conference that was broadcast live-via-satellite from the Colorado Convention Center where the J.D. Edwards annual customer event, Quest Global 2003, is taking place through June 12.
"Oracle's attempted hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in no way affects our resolve to move forward with the PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards merger and create the world's second largest enterprise application software company," said Dutkowsky. "We believe the PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards merger is in the best interests of our shareholders, customers and employees. Their best interests are the guiding criteria for everything we do.
"Our proposed merger with PeopleSoft is all about offering more choices to customers and prospects," he said. "Oracle's statements seem to indicate an intention to obstruct the proposed PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards merger and to force consolidation upon the software industry which could limit choices, hurt customers' businesses and, ultimately, hurt shareholder value."
"We believe that the PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards merger announcement last week was a positive, bold step, one that will shape the future of our industry," he noted.
On June 2, 2003, J.D. Edwards announced that it had entered into a merger agreement with PeopleSoft, Inc. under which J.D. Edwards' business and PeopleSoft will be merged, and J.D. Edwards will become a wholly owned subsidiary of PeopleSoft. The transaction is anticipated to close in the late third or early fourth calendar quarter. The transaction is subject to regulatory review, approval by the respective companies' stockholders and other customary conditions.
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