Oracle submitted its written response to the European Commission's objections to its planned takeover of PeopleSoft on Monday, said lawyers close to the company.

Later this week the company will present its arguments at a hearing involving regulators and opponents of the deal, including senior PeopleSoft executives. Oracle is confident it can rebuff European regulators' "overzealous" proposal to block the deal, one lawyer said on condition of anonymity. "Their response is powerful. The Commission will see there's no chance of a prohibition standing up in court," he said.

The Commission earlier said it would delay delivering a final ruling while it waited for more information from Oracle. European regulators announced in November they would begin an in-depth review of the Oracle-PeopleSoft merger, voicing concerns at that time about the effect the merger would have on competition.

The deal would reduce the number of companies providing business enterprise software, widely used by multinational companies for coordinating everything from financial planning to customer relations, from three to two, the Commission said. Germany's SAP, which supports the deal, would retain its top ranking in Europe.

The Commission suspects that consciously or not, SAP and Oracle won't compete if they are the only ones in the market. Collectively Oracle and SAP would dominate the market, the Commission argued.

Oracle's response will be heard on Wednesday and Thursday. The deadline for a final ruling by the Commission is 11 May, long before an appeal by Oracle against a prohibition order from the US Department of Justice is decided, lawyers said. "What makes this case rather interesting is the fact that the Commission will have to decide what to do without knowing whether US authorities would permit the deal or not," the same lawyer said.