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Despite billions, Ellison can't buy a touchdown

Oracle chief slams owners of the San Francisco 49ers for rebuffing his offer to buy "the worst team in football."

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By Alorie Gilbert
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Oracle Chief Larry Ellison may be No. 10 on Forbes magazine's list of the top 400 wealthiest Americans, but that doesn't make buying a football team—let alone another software company—an easy feat.

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Ellison vented his frustration over a failed bid to buy the San Francisco 49ers franchise on Wednesday during his speech at his company's annual convention. The football team's owners, John and Denise York, recently rejected Ellison's buyout offer.

"Unfortunately, it's not a publicly held company, so you can't vote (the Yorks) out of there," Ellison said in response to a question about the team during the speech. Ellison is also wrangling with Oracle's high-profile bid to acquire software rival PeopleSoft, a target he's been chasing for more than a year. PeopleSoft's board has rejected multiple bids, but Oracle recently won the company's shareholder vote supporting its continued pursuit of the deal. The CEO saved his quips for the Yorks, however. Under their ownership, the 49ers have become "the worst team in football," Ellison said. "They've already won a game. I guess that's good enough," he said, referring to the team's losing streak this year, interrupted by only one victory. Ellison is reportedly in talks with the National Football League about starting a new team in Los Angeles. He urged the sports fans in the crowd on Wednesday to watch for the Los Angeles Stars, the team he hopes to establish there.

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