Corporations and securities brief ~ EU set to approve Oracle/PeopleSoft merger

In Friday's corporations and securities law news, the European Commission is set to approve the $7.7 billion hostile takeover bid by Oracle for rival software group PeopleSoft by next month. The Commission is still concerned about the impact of the takeover but felt it could not win a legal challenge in the European Court. Earlier this month, a US District Court in San Francisco ruled the merger to be legal. Read more about Oracle's proposed offer for PeopleSoft here. Read the decision by the US District Court here. The Financial Times has more.

In other news...

  • Morningstar Inc., an investment research firm, announced it has received a Wells Notice from the SEC for failing to properly correct inaccurate data it published about a mutual fund. Read the Morningstar press release announcing the investigation here. AP has more.

  • As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, extradition proceedings are to begin next week in the case of three British bankers accused of involvement in a deal with former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow to skim millions off a deal with British bank NatWest. Read the indictment here [PDF]. BBC has more.

  • SEC corporation finance division director Alan Beller told the House Financial Services subcommittee that securities regulators are considering a number of ways to help small businesses cope with the new corporate accounting and internal control rules. Read Beller's prepared testimony here [PDF]. AP has more.

  • Freddie Mac announced it has revised its 2003 net income downward by $75 million to provide for a reserve for legal expenses. This revision follows last year's restatement of $6 billion in income. Read Freddie Mac's press release announcing the change here. Read the 2003 annual report here [PDF]. Reuters has more.

  • According to a report in BusinessWeek magazine, Citigroup executives are being investigated by the SEC and NASD for failing to adequately supervise analysts and investment bankers to prevent conflicts of interest during the technology boom of the 1990s. Reuters has more.

  • Alitalia has reached an agreement with eight unions to split the troubled airline into flight and ground operations in an effort to save the nearly bankrupt airline. AP has more.

  • Airbus has withdrawn its challenge to a European Union antitrust ruling against Microsoft Corp. which ordered Microsoft to make changes to its software to create a more level playing field for rivals. Airbus argued the ruling might affect its business making it harder to innovate. Reuters has more.

  • US Airways will ask a bankruptcy court to impose emergency pay cuts of 23 percent on unionized workers saying the cuts are absolutely necessary for its survival. Reuters has more.
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