Sun Axing Up to 3,000 Jobs Waiting for Oracle Deal to Clear

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Beleaguered Sun Microsystems, creators of Java and owners of the widely-used MySQL database, has revealed in an SEC filing that it plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs in the next year as it waits for European regulators to approve the company’s $7.4 billion merger with database giant Oracle. Although the deal has already been approved by the U.S. Justice Department, the European Commission isn’t expected to reach a decision until early 2010.

The 3,000 positions represent about 10 percent of Sun’s total global workforce. Layoffs will be done in phases and cover all of Sun’s major market regions, including North America, Europe, Asia, and emerging markets. The company also believes it will incur between $75 and $125 million in costs during the next year, much of which will be related to severance and restructuring charges.

The job cuts mark the second wave of layoffs at the once-mighty company; last year the company axed some 5,000 positions in a cost-cutting move, prior to entering into a takeover deal with Oracle.

One of the sticking points in the Sun-Oracle deal for the European Commission is the widely-used open-source MySQL database application. If Oracle acquires MySQL along with Sun, it will represent a significant consolidation of the database market, putting Oracle in a dominant position in both commercial enterprise databases and the open source markets. Several interested parties—including MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius—have called for regulators to require Oracle divest itself of MySQL as a condition of approving a merger with Sun.