OracleWorld Interrupted by Bomb Threat

A day before the two-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, a series of phone calls threatening the presence of a bomb at San Francisco’s Moscone Center forced the evacuation of thousands from the Oracle and Seybold trade shows.

Authorities, on guard with the approach of September 11, reported a series of calls at about 1:30 PM Wednesday from someone who claimed the bomb had been placed in the conference center.

Oracle spokesperson Jennifer Glass told TechNewsWorld that the police department cleared 14,000 people from Moscone Center — the majority of them from the OracleWorld show — but also some from a Seybold trade show that also was taking place.

Show Goes On

The bomb threats coincided with a scheduled press conference on PeopleSoft, which has been the focus of a takeover bid by Oracle.

While the Redwood Shores, California-based company’s PeopleSoft acquisition effort has been called extremely hostile and potentially anticompetitive, Glass declined to comment on any possible connection to this week’s bomb threats.

Just before a keynote address by company vice president Ken Jacobs, OracleWorld was interrupted with the threat and an estimated 11,000 attendees evacuated following the announcement. Another 3,000 people from the Seybold trade show being held in a different part of Moscone Center left the conference area.

All of those attending the events managed to get outside the building without incident.

Investigation Underway

Glass, who said Oracle proceeded with its “appreciation party” later Wednesday night, said Thursday’s show had started as planned and would include a rescheduled address from Jacobs. Also scheduled at Thursday’s event, which will include increased security, was HP chief executive officer Carly Fiorina.

The bomb threats, which authorities said were similar to previous threats of this kind, came a day before Americans marked the second anniversary of the deadly and devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The threats also coincided with Oracle’s planned press conference on continued efforts to acquire PeopleSoft despite PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway’s earlier insistance that the takeover would not happen. The PeopleSoft takeover also came under attack from Oracle rival IBM, which complained to federal antitrust officials — who are now considering the acquisition — that the move would result in decreased competition.

Federal officials would not disclose the method or details of the bomb threats, citing an ongoing investigation. Oracle’s Glass said the company is working with law enforcement, which informed Oracle of the threat Wednesday.

Technology Too

OracleWorld, the company’s biggest conference and expo, began Sunday and continued through Thursday.

In addition to the focus on its PeopleSoft takeover bid, Oracle unveiled more details on its Oracle 10g database software, which has been highly anticipated in the industry.

The company touted the database software’s ability to leverage grid computing and indicated it will offer better manageability, more capacity and support for more clustering and extensible markup language (XML).

However, Oracle did not provide technical details, availability or pricing information on 10g.

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