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Tim Bray on MySQL

Tim Bray worries:

It’s like this: MySQL just isn’t a very big business, by any measure. And it represents the sort of Open-Source entanglement that essentially every major technology player now has one or more of. So, my worry is: If, in a merger or acquisition, partial control over a financially-insignificant Open-Source project can now be expected to result in many months of anti-trust review, that’s going to have a massive negative effect on the viability of M&A transactions all over the technology landscape.

I would argue that MySQL is “special”. It may not be a very big business, but it has a very large footprint on the technology scene. It’s the “M” in LAMP. It’s the database that powers most Rails applications. On the other hand, MySQL is not evolving that quickly, and the versions that are already out will probably work perfectly well for long enough for a fork or replacement to become the new standard.

2 Comments

  1. “…a massive negative effect on the viability of M&A transactions all over the technology landscape….”

    Bug or feature?

  2. Most large-scale M&A has absolutely nothing to do with the nominal rationale – exploiting synergies or whatever – and everything to do with reducing competitive pressures. As such anything that slows it down would be a good thing.

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