A crucial legal ruling in Oracle's takeover bid for Peoplesoft has been delayed after a judge said he needs to hear further evidence in the case.
The takeover bid could be decided at Peoplesoft's AGM
Peoplesoft has so far turned down five approaches from its rival.
Oracle has the backing of Peoplesoft shareholders but the firm's board says the $9.2bn (£4.9bn) bid undervalues the business software company.
Oracle is mounting a legal challenge in a Delaware court to Peoplesoft's moves to thwart the takeover.
About 61% of Peoplesoft shareholders have accepted Oracle's offer of $24 a share.
But Peoplesoft has said it believed most shareholders - including those who tendered their stock - thought the company was worth more than the Oracle offer.
The court case centres on a so-called poison pill defence open to the Peoplesoft board to dissuade a potential hostile takeover.
Oracle wants the judge to reject the authority the board has to increase the number shares in issue and, in the event of a takeover, introduce a costly rebate scheme.
The Delaware court is to hear additional testimony in the case on 13 and 14 December.
Observers, however, have said it is rare for a judge to rule against such measure.
They say the outcome of Oracle's 17-month battle to acquire the company could end up being decided at Peoplesoft's AGM in March next year.
"We do not expect the Delaware court to overturn Peoplesoft's poison pill, do not expect that Oracle will raise its bid, and do not expect a white knight to emerge," said analyst Nathan Schneiderman of Wedbush Morgan securities.