May 18, 2004 7:15 PM PDT

Oracle, Justice Dept. submit final witness lists

IBM's top software executive, Steve Mills, and Siebel Systems executive vice president David Schmaier are among additions to Oracle's final witness list in its effort to overturn the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust ruling against its bid for PeopleSoft.

Oracle and the Justice Department each supplied a list of 25 witnesses that they expect to call when the U.S. District Court case begins June 7 in San Francisco. Earlier this year, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft.

Oracle's list, submitted late Tuesday, is heavily weighted with companies that compete in the business applications space, including Siebel, Lawson, SAP, AMS and Microsoft. Also on the list are system integrators and consultants that include these applications in their offerings, including IBM, Accenture and Retail.In.Genius.

Also on the list are several executives from Oracle, including CEO Larry Ellison and President Safra Catz. The Justice Department earlier on Tuesday had filed letters to the federal court complaining that Oracle had failed to make Ellison and Catz available for one-day depositions, but an Oracle spokesman said Catz "is being deposed today" and Ellison will be deposed before the start of the trial.

The Justice Department's list was similar to its earlier preliminary list, in which it relied heavily on customers as witnesses, including Cox Communications, Verizon, Pepsi, Mextel, Charles Schwab, the state of North Dakota and Erie County in New York.

Also on the Justice Department list were several current or former executives from PeopleSoft, including Richard Bergquist, Phillip Wilmington and Richard Allen.

Both Oracle and the Justice Department will have executives from IBM and Microsoft testifying. Oracle has Mills from IBM and Cindy Bates from Microsoft, while the Justice Department counters with Nancy Thomas from IBM Global Services and Doug Burgum from Microsoft. Each side also had lined up a number of economists to testify.

In making its argument throughout its year-long battle to acquire PeopleSoft, Oracle has contended that the number of applications software vendors extends beyond SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft.

Federal antitrust regulators, meanwhile, have argued that an Oracle and PeopleSoft merger would reduce the number of enterprise business applications software vendors from three to two, especially as it relates to financials and human resources applications.

Some antitrust attorneys who have gone before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who will hear the Justice Department-Oracle case, have said the judge relies heavily on testimony from expert witnesses in making a decision.

Judge Walker will make the final decision in the case, since there will be no jury.

 

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