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November 4, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:46pm

IS ORACLE EATING APPLE?

By CBR Staff Writer

Next Monday, November 10th, may be the most significant day ever in the history of Apple Computer Inc. An event, lasting two-and- a-half hours, described by Apple in its invite to select customers, press and analysts as highly significant is scheduled for 2pm EST at the Apple Market Center in New York City, with simultaneous broadcasts being set up for a string of Apple offices across the US. Reason for the excitement? Rumors, from usually reliable sources close to the troubled Cupertino giant, suggest the Big One – merger with Oracle Corp, whose colorful chief executive officer and chairman Larry Ellison became a member of Apple’s board, along with his self-described best friend Apple interim number one Steve Jobs, as part of the latter’s summer coup to help save the company he founded, then was ousted from, in 1976. One version has a merger document sitting on the desks of Jobs and Ellison, with the Securities and Exchange Commission already having been informed, necessary not only to finesse the (likely) stock-based deal, but also presumably due to the amount of stock price movement the deal could spark. An alternate version has Oracle still buying Apple, but running it as a merged part of its NCI network computer arm. The latter scenario makes most sense as that would imply Apple would no longer need a CEO, merely a competent business division manager, which would allow Jobs to exit gracefully stage left without having to appoint a real chief executive in Cupertino to replace him. And even further – a merger with NCI would fulfill Ellison’s dream of making Apple and the MacOS franchise the leading network computer platform. As with all such mega deals, much of the above may be no more than unfounded speculation. The wires will be humming about this one for the next week whatever happens. In a letter to key participants, Steve Jobs said: This will be an event rather than a mere press conference, and will be a change in the way be do business.

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