The judge overseeing the US government's case to block Oracle's PeopleSoft acquisition has quashed attempts to keep part of the proceedings behind closed doors.
The government claimed that some as some of the information was confidential, much of the hearing should be held in camera. However, district judge, Vaughn Walker said he did not want to impair the transparency of the legal process. "I am very reluctant to have anything upon which the court bases its decision under wraps," he said, "this is not a national security case."
The Department of Justice (DoJ) and 10 US states are suing Oracle to block its proposed US$9.4 billion hostile takeover of rival PeopleSoft. The plaintiffs had asked the judge to seal "highly confidential" information during the trial, a measure that would have included barring news media from the courtroom and reviewing protected information in the judge's chambers.
Attorneys for the DoJ had requested confidentiality for certain information, including business data and software procurement strategies provided by third parties, as some of these organisations had provided information on the grounds that it would be kept confidential. Among those are the Department of Defense and Oracle rivals SAP, Microsoft and Lawson Software.
Although the trial is not scheduled to start until June, Oracle and the DoJ are scheduled to meet in court again on 21 May for a tutorial to get the judge up to speed on the enterprise applications market. The DoJ plans to show a video of sales presentations by Oracle and PeopleSoft, while Oracle plans a live presentation. Lucky, lucky judge.
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