Oracle v SAP

November 7th, 2010 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Oracle accuses  arch-rival SAP AG of plundering password-protected Oracle web sites and dealing a $2 billion blow to Oracle’s business. SAP admits its subsidiary secretly siphoned off instruction manuals and technical specifications for Oracle’s software.

Oracle said an SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, created bogus accounts to get access to walled-off Oracle Web sites. Once inside, Oracle said, TomorrowNow deployed computer programs that powered through page after page of support documents, “scraping” and saving the contents of those pages as they went.

Oracle spotted the fraud when it noticed an extraordinary amount of downloads coming from accounts that were registered with clearly bad information, such as bad phone numbers (“777-7777″) and made-up names (“Tom Now”) seemingly connected with the SAP subsidiary. Oracle technicians were also easily able to tell that the downloads went to TomorrowNow servers.

SAP, which is based in Walldorf, Germany, has admitted that the now-shuttered subsidiary secretly siphoned off instruction manuals and technical specifications for Oracle’s software. But SAP argues that Oracle’s claims of injury are exaggerated. It says it owes Oracle just tens of millions of dollars, a fraction of the $2 billion Oracle is seeking.

The jury trial is expected to last six weeks

Oracle has spent $40 billion  over the past six years, particularly with its $10.3 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft in 2005 to buy companies that  sell business applications, the  SAP core business. Oracle alleges that SAP  resorted to thievery to poach customers, Shortly after Oracle announced its intention to buy PeopleSoft, SAP bought TomorrowNow, a company that supported PeopleSoft software. It was a bid to take support business from Oracle and eventually to upgrade PeopleSoft customers to SAP

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