[Disclosure: I have no non-public information on any of the MySQL-related aspects of the Sun/Oracle transaction, nor on the current anti-trust review, and I am not speaking for anyone but myself.] My guess is that the EU will eventually conclude that it would be very difficult for Oracle to kill or cripple MySQL, even if they wanted to. I think the more interesting question is whether Oracle can turn MySQL from a useful technology into an interesting business, something that in my opinion it’s never been. What I’m worried about, though, are unintended side-effects.
It’s like this: MySQL just isn’t a very big business, by any measure. And it represents the sort of Open-Source entanglement that essentially every major technology player now has one or more of. So, my worry is: If, in a merger or acquisition, partial control over a financially-insignificant Open-Source project can now be expected to result in many months of anti-trust review, that’s going to have a massive negative effect on the viability of M&A transactions all over the technology landscape.
Now, M&A is risky and in many cases doesn’t pay off. But it’s also an essential feature of the capitalist system that makes the economy go. It’s also the way that a lot of Open-Source entrepreneurs plan on getting paid. The most grandiose dreams of the Open-Source enthusiasts (and I’m one of them) have never included holing the global M&A process below the waterline.
[Note: Because this topic is so sensitive, I’m probably going to reject most comments, no matter how sensible and straightforward. Sorry.]