Spurred on by HP, the Spanish National Competition Authority is looking into possible anticompetitive practices by Oracle stemming from its decision to stop supporting the Itanium platform.
Spanish National Competition Authority
has opened an investigation into anticompetitive practices by Oracle.
July 28 the CNC opened formal infringement
proceedings against Oracle for their alleged abuse of their dominant position
in the relational database management systems market.
to a CNC press release, the Directorate of
Investigation of the National Competition Commission (CNC)
has opened infringement proceedings against Oracle and Oracle Iberica,
SRL for possible anticompetitive behavior.
case was triggered by a complaint filed by Hewlett Packard Company and Hewlett
Packard Espanola, S.L., concerning alleged practices prohibited by Article 2 of
the Spanish Competition Act 15/July 3, 2007 and by Article 102 of the Treaty on
the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
a statement on the Spanish case, HP said: "HP continues to pursue all avenues
to enforce Oracle's commitments to HP and our shared customers, and will
continue to take actions to protect its customers' best interests. It is our
hope that Oracle will honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers."
the context of the investigations of this file, the Directorate of
Investigation has had access to certain information from which it can be
concluded that there are rational evidence that Oracle has infringed Article 2
of the SCA and Article 102 TFEU through an abusive exploitation of a dominant
position," an English translation of the CNC
press release reads. "In particular, these practices result from Oracle's
decision, announced on March 22, 2011, to suspend all development of software
for the Itanium processor of Intel, mostly used in the Integrity family of HP's
servers, which could entail an unjustified refusal to supply services and an
abusive discrimination. Furthermore, these practices include a new pricing
policy of Oracles Enterprise relational databases implemented as from December
2010, which can give rise to abusive discrimination.
CNC has a maximum time period of 18 months
to investigate and decide on the case.
threatened to sue Oracle for ending its Itanium support. On June 8, HP sent
Oracle a letter saying Oracle's decision to drop support for the Itanium
platform violated contractual agreements with HP and harmed the companies'
140,000 shared customers.
with other anticompetitive legal actions against the likes of Microsoft, IBM
and others that began in Europe and spread elsewhere, this is not likely to be
the last time this issue will arise for Oracle.
as the two sides battle over the Itanium issue, mutual competitor IBM
continues to march on in the server and database businesses.
an interview with eWEEK in late May, Rod Adkins, senior vice president of IBM's
Systems and Technology Group, said: "HP has invested enormous resources in
Itanium. What you've seen lately is more and more IT vendors withdrawing
support for the platform. The latest being Oracle's decision to stop writing
software for Itanium. As we spend more time with clients it becomes clear their
view is that HP has no roadmap beyond what is currently available. I do believe
there is a dead end for Itanium."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.