The EC has suspended its investigation into the proposed $9.4 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft by Oracle for a second time, saying it is seeking more information from Oracle.

The Commission decided to suspend the review yesterday. "We had no choice to do otherwise because we are missing relevant information, information that the company itself argued was highly relevant,'' spokesman Tilman Lueder told Bloomberg. A decision on the proposed buy was expected on May 11 but now its decision has been delayed indefinitely.

The EC has requested information on Oracle's market position in human resources and financial management software. Oracle confirmed. "We can confirm that we have received the request from the European Commission for additional information on our proposed transaction for PeopleSoft. We will continue to cooperate with the Commission and will respond as quickly as possible," said the company's spokesman Jim Finn. Oracle received the EC request on 7 April.

On 30 March, Oracle had handed over its defence to EC objections to the deal - which would see the market for ERP software reduced to two main software vendors - saying that it would defeat the EC's "over zealous" attempts to block it. The other main vendor - SAP - has come out in favour of the deal.

The Commission previously suspended its investigation into the proposed takeover in January to gather more information about the deal from Oracle. The Commission was originally due to conclude its probe of the proposed merger by March 30.

Oracle argues that there are a range of other companies in its markets and that the deal would not hand it effective control of a multi-billion-pound market.