DOJ set to make decision on PeopleSoft’s JDE buy

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to announce Monday whether it needs more information on PeopleSoft Inc.’s friendly buy of smaller software firm J.D. Edwards & Co., in a decision that could affect Oracle Corp.’s unsolicited bid for PeopleSoft.

If the agency says that it needs further information to investigate antitrust concerns, the request would “inevitably delay” the J.D. Edwards buy, according to a PeopleSoft representative.

PeopleSoft has used its J.D. Edwards acquisition as a defence against the Oracle bid, saying that if Oracle buys both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, it will run up against serious antitrust concerns. Furthermore, Oracle executives have publically stated that they are not sure whether they want to buy both companies together.

A delay in the J.D. Edwards buy would not only weaken PeopleSoft’s antitrust claims, it would also give Oracle a window to buy PeopleSoft as a standalone.

Facing the Oracle bid, PeopleSoft has moved to speed its US$1.75 billion acquisition of J.D. Edwards, which could close as soon as later this month if the DOJ gives it the green light.

The DOJ is also considering Oracle’s US$6.3 billion bid for PeopleSoft and extended its review late last month, requesting more information from Oracle.