You would probably be surprised to know that yesterday -- September 1, 2011 -- was one of the best days in Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison's storied business career. An Oakland federal court vacated a $1.3 billion award in Oracle's favor and awarded Ellison a mere $300 million instead.
Now, in return for losing that measly billion dollars, Ellison and Oracle will get $10 billion in additional publicity as the case winds in two directions. What a return on investment.
- First, Oracle will appeal the feds' decision of the appeal by rival SAP, which admitted wrongdoing in the original suit. The appeals will go up through additional court levels. As I said when this all started four years ago, SAP needed to bury this thing fast. It didn't to its lasting regret. Let's face it, SAP was wrong (wrong for even buying TomorrowNow, never mind the actual criminal behavior). I'm thinking Supreme Court here with Larry standing on the front steps. But eventually Oracle will lose in the appeals process because, let's face it, $1.3 billion was excessive. But at each level, Oracle can turn the PR machine back on.
- Then, Ellison will get to retry the case against SAP. Oracle can turn the PR machine back on again. It can keep pummeling SAP. Oracle can use the SAP retrial as a set up for the lawsuit against RiminiStreet (I assume that's still alive; I took a sabbatical this summer?). And this time, Larry can drive down the hill to Leo's house and drive the HP (HPQ) CEO over to the court house. Leo can't hide this time.
Like I said, in November, SAP, get out of dodge. But first ask HP if it will kick in half of the billion-three fine. HP can't want this to proceed any further either.
-- Dennis Byron