John Paczkowski

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Ellison: Oracle Is the New IBM

“If, just for one dollar, if we could buy IBM, HP, Sun or some other tech company, I’m not sure we wouldn’t pick Sun.”

— Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

ellison_sundogThe European Commission’s inquiry into Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun is costing the database giant dearly. Speaking at a Churchill Club event in Silicon Valley Monday evening, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Sun is losing $100 million a month because of the extended European antitrust review.

The uncertainty around the deal has sent some shaken Sun (JAVA) customers running to rivals like IBM (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). “The longer this takes, the more money Sun is going to lose, and that’s not good for anybody,” Ellison said. “We want to get this done to save as many jobs as we can.”

That said, Ellison is confident the deal will be approved. “The U.S. took their time and deliberations and cleared it. They said it was overwhelmingly a pro-competitive deal,” he said. “The Europeans have to do their job too, but I think they’ll come to the same conclusion.”

And once they do, once Oracle (ORCL) begins peddling high-performance computer systems that integrate its technology with Sun’s at the engineering level, the company will be well on its way to becoming the next IBM.

In Ellison’s view, anyway.

“I would like us to be the successor to IBM,” Ellison said. “But we want to be T. J. Watson’s IBM. Not Gerstner’s IBM. Not Palmisano’s IBM,” he said, referring to the company’s other CEOs. “That’s when IBM really was the dominant software company.”

Continuing, Ellison noted that “T.J. Watson’s IBM was the greatest company in the history of enterprise in America because its combination of hardware and software was running most of the enterprises on the planet. We think with the combination of Sun technology and Oracle technology we can succeed and beat IBM. That’s our goal. We have a deep interest in the systems business. We think that by combining our software with hardware that we can deliver systems that can be the backbone of most enterprises in America and around the world.”