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Oracle: We're hiring

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oracle Corp. will hire 2,000 sales and engineering employees as the business software maker looks to expand into the hardware business, according to a report published Wednesday.

Larry Ellison, Oracle's chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal that the new hires will outnumber the job cuts the company is making as part of its acquisition of computer maker Sun Microsystems.

Oracle said Wednesday that it had completed its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun, which had been held up since April by European antitrust regulators.

The deal raised concerns in Europe that Sun's MySQL open-source database could compete with some of Oracle's products.

"Combination of the local entities worldwide will proceed in accordance with local laws," Oracle said in a brief press release.

The acquisition, Oracle's 52nd since 2005, could make the company a major player in the hardware market, which is dominated by IBM (IBM, Fortune 500). Oracle, which has sold software exclusively since it was founded in 1997, is reportedly interested in expanding into the server systems business.

"Unlike Oracle's other acquisitions, Sun Microsystems transforms Oracle from a software company to a systems company," Patrick Walravens, an analyst at JPM securities, wrote in a research note. "Given the risks inherent in such a transformation, we remain on the sidelines for the time being."

Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) is expected to provide additional details on the deal later Wednesday during an all-day event at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. To top of page

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