SAP subsidiary pleads guilty in Oracle case

Friday, 16 September 2011 02:49 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

OAKLAND, Calif. Reuters: - An SAP AG subsidiary pleaded guilty to 12 criminal counts and will pay a $20 million fine for unauthorised downloads from software rival Oracle Corp.

As part of the agreement, SAP AG will not be charged with any criminal wrongdoing, SAP attorney Tharan “Greg” Lanier said on Wednesday.

The criminal case is part of a long-running legal controversy involving SAP and Oracle. Last year, a civil jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion over accusations SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow, now defunct, wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of Oakland, California, who has presided over the civil and criminal cases, later reduced that award to $272 million. Oracle is seeking permission to appeal that ruling.

TomorrowNow’s chief executive chairman, Mark White, entered the company’s guilty plea on Wednesday in a hearing before Hamilton. White is also CFO of SAP’s Global Field Organisation.

“We believe that the resolution of this investigation is fair,” SAP spokesman James Dever said in a statement. “We are pleased to have come to an appropriate conclusion of this process.”

At the plea hearing, Judge Hamilton expressed confusion over how the shuttered TomorrowNow could enter into a plea.

“I thought TomorrowNow didn’t really exist,” Hamilton said.