SAN JOSE: Oracle chairman Larry Ellison has dropped plans to buy Apple. The billionaire businessman began forming an investment group a month ago to consider an exploratory bid for the company while trying to scare away other potential suitors such as Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a nephew of King Fahd who had begun buying up Apple shares. Apple stock finished down 11/16 on the news to close at $17. Industry insiders said Ellison's success in turning Oracle into a $4 billion software powerhouse, whose chief customers were corporations, would not translate to reviving Apple, whose shrinking band of loyal users is comprised of consumers and design professionals. For now, Apple Chairman Gil Amelio, whom Ellison reportedly planned on dumping the moment he took over, can get back to work, bailing.