Oracle pushes through price hikes on some products

The increases are in the 15% to 20% range

Amid tough economic times and about a week before its fiscal-year earnings report, Oracle Corp. has pushed through a number of significant price increases on its products (download PDF).

For example, a CPU license for its database is now $47,500, up from $40,000.

Other price increases -- including among Oracle's E-Business Suite applications -- also fall into the 15%-to-20% range.

Oracle also appears to have raised prices for software it gained through its recent acquisition of BEA. The new price sheet states that a license for the BEA WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition is $25,000. An official copy of an older BEA price list was not available, but one BEA reseller's site lists the higher-end version of the product at $17,000 per license. Both sources have the low-end version at $10,000 per CPU.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment on the price changes on Thursday.

List prices aren't necessarily what customers pay for software products, as the cost often gets lowered dramatically through negotiations, said Ray Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. However, "these price hikes do raise the floor on pricing, and customers who would expect a 50% discount would have to ask for a 60% discount to get the same effect," he said.

Discounting has become so common and so dramatic that "the only way [vendors] can pass on any increase is to do it through the base," Wang said. "It's like when you buy a car and get $1,000 off the list price. You tell your friend and they say, 'Hey, great deal.' But you paid $500 more than it cost last year."

Oracle is expected to release its fourth-quarter and 2008 fiscal-year results on June 25.

The company has been generally tightlipped about its plans for the BEA product portfolio, but it has scheduled a webcast for July 1, saying executives will reveal additional information then.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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