Oracle Gets BEA: Dare I Say 'I Told You So?' - InformationWeek

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1/16/2008
01:45 PM
Rajan Chandras
Rajan Chandras
Commentary
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Oracle Gets BEA: Dare I Say 'I Told You So?'

The big news today is that Oracle is buying BEA. Everyone saw this coming, but I offered my take on the appeal of BEA's middleware and virtualization technology last October. The question is, what will Oracle do with BEA, and how will this help or hurt BEA and Oracle customers?

The big news today is that Oracle is buying BEA. Everyone saw this coming, but I offered my take on "Why Oracle Needs This Deal" last October. The question is, what will Oracle do with BEA, and how will this help or hurt BEA and Oracle customers?Oracle president Charles Phillips' comment is telling: "BEA is a pioneer in middleware." Worth paying $8.4 billion, it seems, even when the prevalent market capitalization is around $6.4 billion.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who pushed for the deal, took at least partial credit saying "this transaction is an excellent example of the great results that can be achieved for all constituencies when the shareholder activist is able to work cooperatively with management." Not to be outdone, BEA Chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang praised the "diligent and thoughtful process." Which is to say, he was right to spurn Oracle's initial $17-per-share offer and force the price up to $19.4-per-share - the terms of the final deal.

Oracle is acquiring some fine technology indeed; BEA's Weblogic, Aqualogic and Tuxedo product lines and BEA's newly introduced virtualization capabilities are all worthy of acquisition. Oracle and BEA customers can expect to reap solid benefits from this merger in the years to come. However, this also knocks out another solid independent vendor from the marketplace, which means less choice for future customers of middleware. Dare we hope that Oracle continues to support some measure of independence for the BEA product lines?The big news today is that Oracle is buying BEA. Everyone saw this coming, but I offered my take on the appeal of BEA's middleware and virtualization technology last October. The question is, what will Oracle do with BEA, and how will this help or hurt BEA and Oracle customers?

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