PeopleSoft yesterday rejected software rival Oracle's "best and final" bid of $24 per share – worth £5bn - and recommended shareholders not to tender their shares.
Dave Duffield, PeopleSoft's re-appointed chief executive, said the board concluded that the company "is worth substantially more than Oracle's latest offer".
Philip Carnelley, an analyst at IT research company Ovum Holway, said: "This game of chicken is going to go all the way. Will Oracle really carry out its threat and withdraw? Some in the market must think so – PeopleSoft stock dropped 2 per cent after hours, after falling 1 per cent during the day."
Users of PeopleSoft HR software, which include some of the UK’s largest companies, would welcome an end to the deal as Oracle has hinted in the past that it would largely cease active development of the PeopleSoft portfolio of products.