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13 June--JD Edwards sues Oracle for $1.7bn. (CRM News Review).

JD Edwards & Co sued Oracle Corp for over $1.7bn--the same amount PeopleSoft Inc is offering to acquire it--saying Oracle is deliberately trying to disrupt the merger with an "illusory" offer to buy PeopleSoft.

JD Edwards is seeking an injunction preventing Oracle from continuing with its $5.1bn hostile bid for PeopleSoft, $1.7bn in damages and unspecified punitive damages. The company claims tortuous interference and unfair business practices.

"We will not sit by idly while Oracle pursues this arrogant, unlawful and destructive course of action," JD Edward CEO Bob Dutkowsky said in a statement. An Oracle spokesperson did not return a request for comment by press time.

"Oracle's unsolicited offer for PeopleSoft will only destroy value for our companies' shareholders, customers and employees and the technology community overall," Dutkowsky said.

JD Edwards said the suit names Oracle, its CEO Larry Ellison, and executive VP Chuck Phillips as defendants. Neither man is mentioned by name in the complaint, which lists the company and 50 "Does"--unnamed individuals--as defendants.

Phillips was hired by Oracle from Morgan Stanley (which is advising JD Edwards on the PeopleSoft merger) in May to focus on "customer facing activities, partners, as well as corporate strategy and business development".

The complaint says Oracle's "illusory offer to acquire PeopleSoft" was made "to prevent the competition it would face if the JD Edwards/PeopleSoft Contract is consummated" and that "Oracle essentially admits that it is seeking to interfere and disrupt" the deal. JD Edwards also claims that "Oracle has contacted the customers of both JD Edwards and PeopleSoft in an effort to have them stop buying product from these companies while Oracle's offer is pending."

The complaint says: "Oracle sales representatives have sought to interfere with the existing and future relationships between JD Edwards and its current and future customers, as well as between PeopleSoft and its current and future customers."

The company adds that Oracle's announced intention to discontinue PeopleSoft products if it finalizes the acquisition is causing JD Edwards harm, "with its fate now contractually tied to PeopleSoft."

"Hearing that the longevity of PeopleSoft's enterprise software products is in jeopardy is causing untold fear and uncertainty among PeopleSoft's current and potential customers," the complaint reads.
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Publication:MarketWatch: CRM
Date:Jun 24, 2003
Previous Article:13 June--war of words as PeopleSoft spurns Oracle bid. (CRM News Review).
Next Article:16 June--Oracle vs PeopleSoft: what a difference a year makes. (CRM News Review).

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