Back in May Google won a significant court battle with Oracle over their use of Oracle tools in their Android OS. The result was basically that Google didn’t infringe on any of Oracle’ patents. So rather than getting a multi-billion pay day via the court system, Oracle got, well, nothing.
Time to move on, right? Well, not if you are Oracle’s oracle, Larry Ellison. The man who owns most of an Hawaiian island (in other words, he has A LOT of money) is still bitter over his perception of how Google is doing business.
In an interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose, Ellison let’s his feelings be known. Here is the transcript from CBS (hat tip to Business Insider).
LARRY ELLISON: I think most of– the only problem– guys I have trouble with are the Google guys.
CHARLIE ROSE: Really?
LARRY ELLISON: Yeah.
CHARLIE ROSE: So Larry and Sergey you have trouble with?
LARRY ELLISON: Larry specifically. Larry– I– I think– I–
CHARLIE ROSE: Larry per se?
LARRY ELLISON: Yeah, Larry per se.
CHARLIE ROSE: Why?
LARRY ELLISON: ‘Cause– he makes the decisions over there. He run– he runs that company. No one else runs that company. And they decided– let me very clear. They– when you program– when you write a program for the android phone, you write it. You– you use the Oracle tool– Oracle Java tools for everything. And at the very end, you press a button and said, “Convert this to Android format.” We don’t compete with Google. We don’t do anything Google does. We– we just think they took our stuff and– and that was– and that was wrong. That’s a completely separate issue.
CHARLIE ROSE: But, I mean, do you think they’re evil?
LARRY ELLISON: I think what they did was– was– absolutely evil.
CHARLIE ROSE: And you blame Larry Page?
LARRY ELLISON: Abs– 100% Larry Page.
CHARLIE ROSE: So if what they did is evil, that makes Larry Page evil?
LARRY ELLISON: No, it makes what he did evil. Which is quite different. And I know his slogan is “Don’t be evil.”
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about.
LARRY ELLISON: And I think he slipped up this one time. But– the–
CHARLIE ROSE: So he’s a good guy except this one time when he–
LARRY ELLISON: This really bothers me. I don’t– I don’t see how he thinks you can just copy someone else’s stuff. It really– it really bothers me.
Looks like Mr. Ellison just can’t stand losing anything. It’s a trait that has served him well by many standards but it comes off as petty.
So what does this have to do with marketing? Nothing yet but imagine how Google must approach this. They are on the bad side of one of the most powerful men in the world. Do you honestly think this is the last we hear of this kind of a run in? I sincerely doubt it. And when you see the level of disdain and, let’s face it, sheer “I didn’t get my way so I will be back! Oh and the courts don’t know their a$$ from their elbow, as well” attitude, do you think Ellison is just going to lick his wounds and slink away? Not likely.
So what would be logical next steps for a person who sees the world like Ellison likely does? Try to lash out and hurt someone, of course. It’s how big boys act. Don’t be surprised if Oracle is a thorn in Google’s side for some time to come and Oracle does whatever it can to disrupt the ever-expanding mobile empire of Google. If that happens then the market (and marketers) will feel it too.
Ellison has the money and the motivation. Do you really think this won’t get uglier before it gets better based on this interview?