MySQL's ex-boss demands Europe OK Oracle's Sun buy

'Trust my unique insight' says Mickos


MySQL's former CEO Marten Mickos is flying the flag for his fleeting former employer, sending a heartfelt plea to the European Union to wave through Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems.

Mickos left MySQL earlier this year - just over a year after Sun bought his open source database outfit - after apparently becoming frustrated with the bureaucracy at Sun.

Oracle's takeover of Sun - and the prospect of Larry Ellison killing his open source baby - might have been expected to further fuel his ire.

Instead, Mickos has written to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes to say that while the EU was absolutely right to launch an investigation into the deal, it should give the takeover the OK as quickly as possible.

Every day the EU holds up the deal, he argues, actually reduces competition in the market as Sun's business withers, and as investment in "open source ventures" slows down.

"Having been the CEO of MySQL from 2001 to 2009, and built a business that was serving a new market unmet by Oracle and others, I can agree with the questions posed [about concentration of power in the database market], but I do not share the concerns that have been expressed. In the following, I will explain why," he writes.

But, he argues: "Oracle has as many compelling business reasons to continue the ramp-up of the MySQL business as Sun Microsystems and MySQL previously did, or even more."

Secondly, he claims: "Even if Oracle, for whatever reason, would have malicious or ignorant intent regarding MySQL (not that I think so), the positive and massive influence MySQL has on the DBMS market cannot be controlled by a single entity - not even by the owner of the MySQL assets. The users of MySQL exert a more powerful influence in the market than the owner does.

"Many expected Oracle to harm MySQL as far back as 2005, when they acquired the InnoDB storage engine that plays a crucial role for many MySQL customers. And yet Oracle increased their investment in InnoDB since that time, making MySQL a stronger player in the market."

Of course, he would say that wouldn't he. Well, he certainly would if he still held stock in Sun, Oracle of any of the MySQL ecosytem, which Mickos says he no longer does.

Rather, he claims, as the only ever CEO of MySQL, he believes he has a "unique insight into these matters".

And his insight is that while owning the MySQL assets is one thing, the community is quite another.

"The installed base is, and can be, hugely beneficial to the owner of MySQL, but only to the extent and for as long as this owner of MySQL enjoys the trust of the installed base." ®

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