PeopleSoft extends customer refund offer

PeopleSoft Inc. told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Wednesday that it is extending a disputed customer refund offer aimed at thwarting a takeover attempt by Oracle Corp. until Dec. 31.

The Pleasanton, Calif., company introduced its “Customer Assurance Program” in June, soon after Oracle announced its unsolicited bid for the company. The program offers customers refunds of up to five times the price of their software if the company is acquired and the products discontinued.

The program could potentially cost Oracle hundreds of millions of dollars if it succeeded in buying PeopleSoft, making the deal financially prohibitive. Earlier this month Oracle filed for an injunction against the refund offer, and indicated that it may have to drop its takeover bid if the program continued.

In a document filed with the SEC Wednesday, PeopleSoft said that it decided earlier this week to extend the refund program until Dec. 31, offering customer refunds if the company is acquired within two years of a purchase and if the product and its support or updates are discontinued within four years of purchase.

Oracle representatives were not immediately available to comment on the refund program.