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It’s Strike Three for Oracle in its ongoing argument with the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and IBM over a series of 2012 ads in which Oracle claimed its servers were much less expensive and outperformed Big Blue’s machines.

NAD, the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, has now forwarded the complaints onto the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is a government regulatory agency and it wields much more authority than the BBB or NAD.

At this point, Oracle would do well to give up gracefully. But given the history between these two long standing rivals, that is unlikely to happen.

The dispute revolves around three separate Oracle advertising campaigns in 2012, which ran in major publications including The Wall Street Journal. According to the NAD’s latest press release each of Oracle’s ads featured “an overbroad and unsupported comparison between one Oracle product and one IBM product.” Each campaign was reviewed by NAD following complaints lodged by IBM, which alleged Oracle’s claims were specious and hyperbolic. The NAD reviewed all of the complaints and agreed with IBM and recommended that Oracle discontinue making misleading claims in its advertisements.

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