back to article US told to keep its beak out of European decisions

European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has hit back US senators who have publicly complained about Europe's ongoing examination of the Oracle Sun merger. Kroes told US senators to mind their own business and concentrate on sorting out their own problems - starting with US healthcare. Several high profile US senators …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good on her

    and while she is at it, demand they remove all the hidden and not-so-hidden USA barriers to foreign trade/firms. Good it's not addressed to a UK equivalent - it would collapse in an abject heap before the demand was even read.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby


      While I agree that the US is getting pushed on by their lobbyists and shouldn't get involved in the EU thing, I take offense to your 'barriers' comment.

      How about the EU drop their barriers to letting US contractors work in the UK?

      I mean the rules for consideration are UK , EU, then the rest of the world. Meaning that I must possess some specific skill that you can't find in the UK or the EU.

      Unlike the US where anyone with a sponsor can get an H1B visa, regardless of their skill set....

      The point is, the world isn't perfect and you need to see things from the other person's point of view.

      BTW, we a Nuclear Super Power, have to contract with the French on how to build equipment for nuclear power plants. So where's the trade barrier in that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        H1B visas have to prove that the necessary skillset could not be found, which is very similar, if not identical to the requirement in the UK where it needs to be proven that the organisation was unable to source a local skilled person.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Wrong and.....

          As my brother found out the hard way. You have a sponsor and they've jumped through all the correct hoops on skills, but you are gay. The answer then comes back: "Sod off, we don't want any more of your sort here".

  2. Britt Johnston
    IT Angle

    IT lesson

    Just a reminder that a major cause of IT project failures arises when groups try solve other groups problems, rather than address their own.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hip Hip Hooray .....

    Bravo, Neelie Kroes, who shows more balls than the useless easily bought male bugs in the species.

    And Paris because she's bound to have met Hordes of them in her Work while at Rest in Play.

    What say you Gals? Fact or Fiction?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Kroes!

    This is one of those rare occasions when I'm proud of an EU representative. Congratulations!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Or to put it another way...

    I would have thought a clearer response would have been: "If Sun and Oracle don't want the EU involved in their business all they have to do is withdraw their business from the EU."


  6. jackharrer
    Thumb Up

    She's good

    Shame she's going... I bet the new one will be corporate sponsored wimp...

  7. Neil Brown

    "digital agenda commissioner"

    An EU position, responsible for specifying PDAs and other electronic calendars?

    1. uncle sjohie


      We all know they could use some help, right?

  8. Graham Hawkins
    Thumb Down

    Gotta love the bEUrocrats!

    I'm sure that Sun employees in the various EU states will be delighted at Ms Kroes prevarication while their chances of continued employment spiral down the plughole...

    Almost makes me think UKIP is a good idea. No wait, what am I saying.

  9. NB

    oh Neelie

    <3, you will be missed!

  10. Jimmy Floyd


    ...very childish.

    "interfering in someone else's decisions rather than taking the most important decision that you have control over: improving health care."

    Which could, if the US took notice of her words, could be taken as inferring in their affairs. Quite what health has to do with a business merger is anyone's guess.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Neelie Kroes & SWIFT

    Neelie had better check any SWIFT transfers of her and her family given what the EU Commission did and the EU Council approved. If there's anything that may be used politically against her, she needs to keep stum.,,4952263,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    STFU - The international edition

    And a backhand on the horrible health care situation here. Double points!

    I guess Ellison reaps what his big mouth sows. This just makes my day.

  13. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Steelie Neelie

    Neelie Kroes for president of the world. What, we don't have one? Let's make it a special position, just for her.

    Viviane Reding can sit the next term.

    For those of you terrified by the mere thought of a planetary government...I point out to you that I, a Canadian, am already regularly faced with praying that these two Eurocrats will save me from American corporations and governmental policies. Why not just make the position official?

  14. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Kerry's next move.

    Having so publicly shot himself in the foot instead of the arm this time, Kerry will probably put in for a Purple Heart again. As someone from the centre ground put it after the Swiftboating hullabaloo; "All we need is for Kerry and Cheney to go duck hunting and we can have a heroic end to all our problems!"

    Kroes is notorious for both her ego and stubborness, and her suspected anti-Americanism (I hear one nickname for her is "Ms Stalin"). Aggravating her like Kerry and co did for a few cheap votes back home was not a good idea, as she is very deeply embedded in the heart of the EU machine. Microsoft must be rolling on the floor laughing at the whole affair, and I'm sure Larry will be removing Kerry from any donations list for the next election. With friends like that....

    1. Kwac
      Thumb Down

      interesting choice of words

      Most people, when talking of the 'swiftboat hullabaloo' would choose the much shorter 'swiftboat lies'.

  15. Hud Dunlap

    What health care issue?

    Besides the fact that there are lots of charity hospitals in this country, any hospital that takes Federal Funds, Medicare etc. Has to treat anyone who walks into an emergency room. My sister and brother in law don't have insurance. If they need care they make deals with the Doctors.

    I have been unemployed, uninsured and broke and still gotten care when I needed it. And I paid them off when I got a job.

    The real problem is the groups who think they don't have to pay because health care should be free. When you get a large bill from an American Hospital it is to cover all of the people who have been treated and haven't paid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      That's all very well...

      ...unless you need some important treatment that Medicare doesn't pay for.

      And you spend the next few years paying off the debt.

      Emergencies are one thing but long term medical care for cancer etc is far more expensive in the long run and you don't usually get it for "free".

      The realities of any healthcare system is that there are people (like myself) that require very little from it, and some unfortunates that were born with a greater need through no fault of their own, and you won't necessarily know in advance of that need, which is why in the NHS we do not (in principle at least) pay at the point of need.

      Notwithstanding that you can spend an infinite number of dollars/pounds/euros/... on Healthcare, it really should be to the #1 priority for ANY country as everyone needs it at some point in their lives.

    2. Solomon Grundy

      Silly Bugger

      Obviously if you've needed care that you could afford to pay for after you found a job you either:

      1) Have no life or other bills that slipped while you were unemployed

      2) Received health care that you really didn't need (i.e. the biggest cause of increasingly large medical bills)

      3) Are a liar with no knowledge of how health care works in the U.S. and are just making up stories so you have something to put online.

  16. Lionel Baden

    Damn !!

    The US got seriously b!tch slapped

  17. mommycalled

    more stupidity from the EU

    Neelie Kroes is a clueless moron, who should have never been allowed out of the home for the mentally handicapped. It's OK for the EU to tell American companies how to do business, but not the other way around? Maybe the US should place the same kind of restrictions on Airbus. I think it's time the US stops cleaning up EU messes and lets Europe finish its death spiral.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mummy called

      No she's got it right. It's her job to protect the interests of EU against companies that do business in the EU, she can't pick favourites just because the companies are American ones.

      And telling her to do otherwise would be like Europe telling America to get a domestic policy in order..... like healthcare for example.... which is exactly what she did.

      So in summary, go away you sad little American living on past glory, Europe is the worlds biggest trading block now, you destroyed your economy when you elected Dick spendy spendy Cheney and Obama may be a great president, but even he can't fix what Cheney did to your economy.

      1. blackworx
        Thumb Up

        Dick "Spendy Spendy" Cheney

        Nice one :o)

      2. asdf

        Almost right

        >Europe is the worlds biggest trading block now

        I do agree with everything you said but that the USA has to fear Europe economically. China yes, India perhaps, rest of Asia could be, but Europe nah. When you talk about Europe you talk about in good times, 1 to 1.5% grow rate (historically US averages around 4 to 5%), monthly union strikes, and in many countries 35 hour or less work weeks. The EU may have a bigger population now but our states have the advantage that everyone shares the same culture, same language, and thinks of themselves as one country (largely anyway). Still I will say it is nice to have a big boy on the block in the EU that makes it harder for the rich to buy the for sale US government and then get its way globally.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        That would be Mom...

        A european telling an American to stop living on past glory. Wow, that's rich. Good luck with that whole aging population thing. You know, the one that makes our baby boom look like a speed bump. Or have you already learned to speak Turkish?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Competition? We can't have any of that!

      "Maybe the US should place the same kind of restrictions on Airbus."

      You mean they didn't? How many of those has been sold into US?

      As far we know, the US (governement) won't buy anything with open competition, but asks for offers from selected vendors. Which happen to be US corporations.

      1. Deadlock Victim

        Re: airbus...

        "You mean they didn't? How many of those has been sold into US?"

        From the Airbus North America website:

        "Customers in North America have ordered more than 2,600 Airbus aircraft - with more than 2,000 of these having been delivered by April 2009. United Airlines, US Airways and Northwest currently operate the largest Airbus fleets among the company's more than 35 airline customers in the region."

        In fact the A320 line and various Embrarer (Brazil) aircraft are the most popular choices among smaller, regional carriers here in the US. Boeing is really lacking in that capacity. Just yesterday, United Airlines bought 25 aircraft from Boeing and 25 from Airbus.

        "As far we know, the US (governement) won't buy anything with open competition, but asks for offers from selected vendors. Which happen to be US corporations."

        I would rather hope that the US government would give preference to US corporations when bidding out for procurement and other contracts.

  18. Paolo Marini
    IT Angle

    does it have to be the same company all over the place?

    with all the intricacies of branch/parent relations in corporate law, I'm pretty sure that there is some possibility for keeping an Oracle's Sun in the USA and separate entities in the European Union...

    why not?

  19. Adam Christie-Grant
    Thumb Up


    I think Im right in saying that Oracle/Sun are the ones who constantly demand the delays - Very odd the Americans do not know what their own companies are doing - Well maybe not so odd...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns


      Oracle have asked for one delay, of 6 days. Sun have been practically crying at the EU to get their finger out and approve this. Most of the blame for the delays lies with SAP and Microsoft who see a great chance to hammer their competition in court, since they are unable to do so in the market.

  20. asdf


    Blah Blah you yanks, Blah Blah you limeys. Fact is most Americans don't have a clue about this deal and many such as myself who do also have reservations about Oracle doing what is good for the consumer with this deal. Our euro readers need to remember at least in the states the IT industry tends to skew to the right politically so many of the redneck republican chatter who hear from the states on this site is not representitive of the population at large.

  21. Steve Browne
    Thumb Up

    Such a refreshing change

    The one thing I would really like to see is the EU standing up to America. It is just so debilitating having the British poodle rolling over every time America asks, what we really need is someone to stand up for us, and Nellie Kroes does that admirably.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @Almost right

    - "When you talk about Europe you talk about in good times, 1 to 1.5% grow rate (historically US averages around 4 to 5%), monthly union strikes, and in many countries 35 hour or less work weeks."

    1. You brag about the 4 -5 % growth but conveniently forget what has happened as a result of this growth. Boom and bust is not a very good long-term strategy you know.

    2. What is bad about a 35 hour week? I know I prefer that to the unlimited (60+)hour work week that a lot of people in the US have. I work to live not live to work!

    Good on Kroes for the STFU to the Senators! She has more balls than most of the rest of the EU politicians.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So 2 american companies..

    want to merge, why should that concern the EU? EU is going more and more to left in the political spectrum

    Soon we here in the UK will have to live under a communist ruling EU.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yep and that is shitting you up

      becuase you have wierd obsession about socalism. We are not going to become Communist - no country has succeeded fully in that ever. No need to have a witch hunt like the MacCarthy era for enemies that don't exist. Americans really should read the book "Why do People Hate America" it will let you understand something about your cultrue that tends to rub others up the wrong way - like always looking for a fight even when none exists.

  24. plm


    While I agree that it is easy to see the log in somebody's else eye, I am very surprised by the H1B comment and I would say that it is a very bad example to support your point. From personal experience, at least in California, H1B has to be sponsored by a company, the company has to prove the lack of equivalent local skills (e.g. showing he job has been advertised locally and no appropriate candidates were found locally) and the working visa is strictly linked to the sponsoring company. In France a working visa is not bound to a company. Perhaps things changed in the last 2 years but I highly doubt it.

  25. Jon999

    @AC Yep...

    Well if 2 French companies want to merge, US shouldnt be able to block that. Nor should EU be allowed to block to US companies that want to merge.

    Nothing to do with Germany or France. EU (read France) really needs to move on from its Communist past and get with reality. EU will never have any credible growth as long as it lets it unions dictate with its endless strikes and actions.

  26. Doug Lynn

    Someone need to remind EU who saved their countries in WWII

    HI, thats really lame EU, holding up a US company merger...because they do business in Europe...

  27. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: interesting choice of words

    "....swiftboat lies...."

    Well, Kerry went out looking for trouble, fragged himself with an M-79 by shooting it at far too short range (at unarmed civilians), and then insisted he was due a Purple Heart for the whole affair. Which bit do you disagree with? The medic that examined the so-called "wound" the next day identified it as self-inflicted and said it was definately a splinter from an M-79 grenade, not a bullet fragment. Hardly the herioc story he very publicly painted about himself later. Indeed, his own commander, Lt Cmdr George Elliot, admitted all three of Kerry's PHs didn't involve any injury that even called for Kerry to take a break from duty. Heck, Kerry probably thinks that if the Obumbler got a Nobel for just saying nice things, then Kerry is due a Congressional Medal for taking on Ms Stalin herself!

    /This is almost as much fun as winding up the Sunshiners!

  28. Anonymous Coward


    Fail for our representatives. Let's leave cowboy diplomacy in the Bush years, PLEASE!!!!

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