- Associated Press - Monday, November 8, 2010

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he was deeply worried about bleeding customers because of what seemed like a masterstroke of an acquisition by archenemy SAP in 2005.

The extent of those fears, and how they squared with the amount of business SAP actually poached, consumed Ellison’s hourlong testimony Monday in an industrial espionage trial that could leave SAP AG on the hook to Oracle Corp. for billions of dollars.

SAP has admitted that the company it bought, TomorrowNow, stole customer support documents from password-protected Oracle websites and used them to woo away Oracle customers.

But SAP insists it owes Oracle only $40 million because the now-shuttered subsidiary was far less successful at that than Oracle had initially feared.

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