Exclusive: SAP will pay $20 million in Oracle criminal case

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:58am BST

Shareholders arrive for the German software group SAP general shareholder assembly in Mannheim, May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Shareholders arrive for the German software group SAP general shareholder assembly in Mannheim, May 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Alex Domanski

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - SAP AG has agreed to pay $20 million to resolve a criminal probe into allegations that it downloaded millions of files from rival Oracle, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The plea deal, scheduled to be formalized at a court hearing on Wednesday, comes as Oracle seeks to appeal a recent ruling that slashed a $1.3 billion civil jury verdict against SAP over the same conduct.

U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors last week charged SAP's defunct TomorrowNow Inc unit with 12 criminal counts in connection with illegal downloads of Oracle software files, according to court documents.

SAP agreed to settle the case last week, although the dollar amount was not revealed in publicly available court filings.

SAP spokesman James Dever declined to comment on Monday, as did Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger.

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TomorrowNow was the sole defendant charged in the criminal case. No individuals were charged.

The criminal case is part of a long-running legal controversy involving SAP and Oracle. Last year a civil jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion over accusations that SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files.

A judge has since reduced that award to $272 million.

Oracle requested permission on Monday to appeal that reduction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to an Oracle court filing.

The civil case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle USA, Inc., et al. v. SAP AG, et al, 07-cv-1658.

The criminal case in the Northern District of California is United States of America v. TomorrowNow Inc., 11-cr-0642.

(Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by Bernard Orr and Carol Bishopric)

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