Rimini Street fires back at Oracle; Alleges 'anticompetitive tactics'

Rimini Street fired back at Oracle over its lawsuit adding that Larry Ellison & Co. are trying to stifle competition to preserve fat software maintenance margins.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Rimini Street on Monday fired back at Oracle over its lawsuit adding that Larry Ellison & Co. are trying to stifle competition to preserve fat software maintenance margins.

Rimini Street, which provides third party support for Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software, was sued by Oracle alleging massive theft of intellectual property.

In its response, Rimini denied Oracle's allegations. Rimini added that Oracle's lawsuit is the climax of a five-year campaign to squelch the company's third party support services.

According to the response to Oracle's complaint (download response PDF):

Oracle initiated this baseless litigation as another anticompetitive tactic to try and slow Rimini Street’s fast-paced growth and protect Oracle’s dominant 95% market share and monopoly-like 92% gross profit margins on the after-market support of its products.

Since shortly after Rimini Street’s inception, Oracle began a systematic campaign to disrupt and halt Rimini Street’s business. Initially, Oracle’s efforts consisted of numerous hostile letters, some of which were published in the media as early as 2005 as examples of how Oracle was trying to forestall after-market competition from a just-launched Rimini Street. Over the years, Rimini Street responded to each Oracle letter, explained the appropriateness of Rimini Street’s practices and procedures, and repeatedly offered to meet and discuss any questions or concerns Oracle might have about Rimini Street’s processes and procedures.

As Rimini Street’s success grew, so did Oracle’s determination and efforts to disrupt Rimini Street’s growth. Since the inception of the company, Rimini Street used automated download tools to help its clients identify and take delivery of the large volume of Oracle Software and Support Materials they paid for and were entitled to possess and use (potentially tens of thousand of files for a single customer). Using such automated tools was necessary because Oracle refused to help its customers identify and take delivery of such large volumes of materials.

According to Rimini, Oracle's attacks escalated in 2007 and 2008. Ultimately, Oracle blocked its support materials from Rimini.

Oracle sues Rimini Street, alleges 'massive theft'; Is third party support dead?

At this point, as a good-faith attempt at conflict reduction with Oracle, Rimini Street unilaterally agreed to cease using automated download tools in January 2009 and notified Oracle’s representatives of this decision in early February 2009.

Further, to prevent Oracle’s anti-competitive actions from occurring in the future, Rimini Street asked for and was finally granted a call with Oracle representatives in early February 2009. On the call, Rimini Street offered to share Rimini Street internal information with Oracle and/or to work out an agreement that would utilize an independent third party auditor reporting back to both parties to confirm Rimini Street’s compliance with its standard processes and procedures. Oracle never responded to any of Rimini Street’s proposals.

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