December 9, 2009 / 1:02 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-EU's Kroes optimistic on Oracle/Sun merger review

* Two-day EU hearing on deal starts on Thursday

* U.S. Department of Justice approved deal in August

By Foo Yun Chee and Bate Felix

BRUSSELS, Dec 9 (Reuters) - EU regulators are optimistic about achieving a satisfactory outcome from their review of U.S. software firm Oracle Corp’s ORCL.O plan to buy Sun Microsystems Inc JAVA.O despite competition concerns, Europe’s antitrust chief said.

European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ comments on Wednesday came a day before a hearing that could help regulators decide whether to clear or block the deal.

Oracle, Sun, competitors and interested parties will have the chance to argue their case in front of officials from the European Commission and European national competition regulators at the two-day hearing.

The European Commission has objected to the $7 billion deal, saying the combination of Sun’s MySQL database and Oracle’s products could squeeze competition in the database market, a Sun regulatory filing showed last month. “I am still optimistic that we can reach a satisfactory outcome that will ensure that there is no adverse impact on effective competition in the European market,” Kroes told a news conference.

Oracle has until Dec. 14 to submit remedies to address the European Union executive’s concerns on the competitive impact of the deal. It has said MySQL will improve its competitive edge against Microsoft.

The U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal in August.

MySQL database is used to run popular websites operated by companies such as Google Inc (GOOG.O), Facebook and (AMZN.O). Its primary competitor is Microsoft’s SQL Server. (Editing by David Holmes)

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