As some of you know Oracle is trying to acquire PeopleSoft in a hostile takeover, and the DOJ has opposed that takeover. The DOJ’s lawsuit, United States of America v. Oracle, began about 10 days ago in San Francisco. PeopleSoft thought it would be helpful for its customers to get an inside view of the trial so it asked antitrust lawyer Gary Reback to write a daily summary, which is posted on PeopleSoft’s website (okay, it’s not a ‘blog’ per se, but it’s conceptually equivalent in many ways).
Tech journalist Dan Gillmor thinks this is a great idea of service that a lawyer can offer his client, and I agree. But it’s also a great all around marketing strategy, and not just for clients. I’m interested in the PeopleSoft case, but not enough to try to read poorly written press accounts. Okay, let’s talk bias. I realize that Gary is writing this for his client, but I can deal with that factor so it’s not a big deal to me. I like reading a cogent summary of the case from someone who understands the legal intricacies involved and who is able to explain them in simple (but not simplistic) terms.
The net benefit to Gary Reback is that his name is publicized as an expert in antitrust issues affecting technology. I already knew about him because he was the lawyer who was most instrumental in getting the DOJ to bring its antitrust suit against Microsoft, but this reinforces my view of him as an innovative legal thinker. Perhaps it will have the same effect on others in the U.S. legal community.
One last thought: maybe Oracle should get a lawyer to write about the case from their perspective too.