Oracle is anticompetitive, services group tells DOJ

The SIA, a group of maintenance firms, wants Oracle's policies on Sun hardware stopped

A trade group for computer-service providers has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to block Oracle's policies on customers using third-party service providers for Sun Microsystems gear.

The Service Industry Association (SIA), made up of 134 companies that offer aftermarket maintenance of computer hardware, claimed on Wednesday that Oracle has changed the policies on maintenance of Sun equipment to discourage users from using third-party support companies. Oracle completed its acquisition of Sun early this year.

The SIA accused Oracle of making the changes in order to capture an estimated US$2.4 billion of business done by independent service organizations (ISOs) with Sun customers. It accused Oracle of pushing customers toward buying all their maintenance services from Oracle and of imposing requalification fees on customers that go to a third party for maintenance and later want to go back to Oracle.

The SIA wrote to Oracle with its complaints in May, according to documents on the group's website. In a response in June, Oracle rejected the allegations.

ISOs do about half the maintenance on Sun hardware, said Claudia Betzner, the SIA's executive director. On average, they charge about 35 percent less for their services than do the original equipment vendors, she said.

Oracle officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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