HP calls on European antitrust regulators to investigate Oracle

HP calls on European antitrust regulators to investigate Oracle

Summary: Oracle and HP's continued spat could be taken to Europe, after HP seeks advice from European antitrust regulators.

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Computing giant HP is trying to seduce European antitrust authorities in a bid to investigate whether Oracle improperly shifted its weight in software, to freeze out HP from parts of the hardware market, attorneys for both companies said on Tuesday.

This comes only a few weeks after Samsung and Apple were both asked for more details, as European antitrust regulators seek to examine the unhealthy relationship between telecommunications giants and the use of potentially abusive patent lawsuits to 'starve' competitors of innovation.

In a court hearing in San Jose, California, the two technology giants continue to war over Oracle's decision to no longer support Intel's Itanium systems.

Oracle had previously said it would cease support because Intel did not plan to keep the platform alive over the long run, yet both companies denied that was the case.

Resonating a similar feel to how Apple conducted itself over Samsung's patent infringement claims, Oracle's lawyers said that HP is "going literally around the world to every antitrust jurisdiction trying to say we're trying to put them out of business". HP denies this and claims that the European issues are "separate" from its U.S. suit.

European regulators have yet to pick up the case from HP, though it is unclear whether they will.

After Oracle ceased support for the Itanium system after it shifted focus to its x86 architecture, HP sued the company in a California state court in June. The two companies have found their increasingly pressurised relationship to deteriorate.

But the already tricky mess becomes even trickier, as Oracle and HP have commitments to their shared customers. Rather than outright calling Oracles behaviour of an 'antitrust' level, it instead focuses its attention on the heart of the problem, by calling the move "anti-customer".

Intel, though appears to be the quiet partner at the heart of this case, remained quiet on the issue.

At this stage, HP is fighting seemingly for its customer contracts, whilst Oracle wants to keep Intel's Itanium microprocessor out of the picture, something Intel is entirely willing to do. It seems clear that all parties want a particular thing, but that 'thing' is not yet clear.

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Topics: Security, Enterprise Software, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle

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