MariaDB had its first release in October 2009, with version 5.1.38 Beta, based on MySQL 5.1.38. It was a fork meant to “to ensure that the MySQL code base would be free forever”.
At the time of forking, the most common fear was that the acquisition was a hostile takeover with the goal of killing MySQL. That concern, at least partly, proved to be unfounded.
Again in 2009, Monty Program AB and Percona, a company providing premium MySQL services, established the Open Database Alliance. Their goal was “to unify all MySQL-related development and services, providing a solution to the fragmentation and uncertainty facing the communities, businesses and technical experts involved with MySQL.”
The idea was “to become the industry hub for the MySQL open source database, including MySQL and derivative code, binaries, training, support, and other enhancements for the MySQL community and partner ecosystem”
Looking back at it: it is possible that these steps have prevented a worse scenario for the famous database.