Kroes and Reding leave roles in EU reshuffle

After a high profile five years as the head of anti-trust in the EU, Neelie Kroes is set to step down in early 2010.

Neelie Kroes

The European Union's anti-trust chief is stepping down early next year to take on the role of Digital Agenda Commissioner.

The move is part of a commission-wide reshuffle by the President of the European Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso, to put in place his "agenda for change" as set out in September of this year.

This will also see the current Commissioner for Information, Society and Media, Viviane Reding, changing roles to become the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

Dutch politician Neelie Kroes took up the post of the European Commissioner for Competition in November 2004 and has overseen cases including companies like Microsoft, Intel and the current Oracle and Sun Microsystems acquisition.

She will be replaced by a member of the Spanish Socialist Party, Joaqun Almunia, on 26 January, so will still be in the role when Oracle presents its case for owning both its own database and Sun's MySQL. A decision is expected on the deal on 19 January, just before Kroes' departure.

The commission delayed the acquisition back in September and launched an investigation even though the US Department of Justice gave the deal the go ahead.

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