John Dvorak: The Sun-MySQL Deal Stinks

This commentary made by John Dvorak points out that the deal between Sun and MySQL favors Sun.

The move, announced earlier this week, is potentially a disaster for the entire sector for reasons I’ll outline here.

Let’s begin by putting MySQL in perspective: It’s the most competitive and biggest threat to Oracle Corp., if for no other reason than it’s cheaper, and in many applications, more practical.

It’s used extensively by the open-source community and is the engine that runs almost all the blogging software — including the successful WordPress, which is used as the blogging-content back end for the New York Times, among other large commercial enterprises.

Sun has an awful track record with its acquisitions. Here is a recent official list.

Sun’s crummy results go way back and include unique and useful products such as TOPS — a PC to Mac file-sharing OS, which was bought by Sun in 1987, then rotted from neglect.

From another perspective, you have to wonder why MySQL was sold in the first place and who orchestrated this deal.

If anyone actually knew that MySQL was up for grabs, I expect that Google, Yahoo and certainly Microsoft Corp. would have been interested, and there should have been a publicized bidding war resulting in a much higher price than $1 billion.

I’m close to being convinced that Oracle wanted to buy MySQL to kill the product, but knew that it couldn’t pull off the stunt itself. It would be too obvious, especially to European Union regulators. So it sent in a stooge to do the job.

The two companies, Sun and Oracle, have been strategic partners for years. On top of that, Sun cannot actually afford to spend a $1 billion on a company producing a mere $60 million in revenue and working outside its core competencies.

So who can afford it? Oracle, that’s who. This deal stinks from top to bottom.

So there you have it. Somehow, Dvorak made some points but then again, maybe we are overanalyzing things.