Sun denies anti-competitive behaviour

Computer manufacturer dismisses claims by UK resellers that it has unfairly restricted information on its products

Sun has denied suggestions that it is engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

A complaint about Sun — made to the Office of Fair Trading by the Association of Service and Computer Dealers International (ASCDI) on Monday — claimed that Sun was shutting out resellers by refusing to give them "provenance information" on its products — historical details about where the equipment comes from.

Sun's policy, said the ASCDI, "effectively closes the secondary market trade in Sun products to anyone other than Sun", because the manufacturer requires all its equipment to have this information available when sold.

But Sun has hit back, claiming its policies "actively encourage a vibrant market in its second-hand products on a fair and lawful basis". A statement from the computer manufacturer indicated that it had not seen the complaint, nor had it been contacted by the OFT, but that it would fully co-operate with any inquiry by the OFT.

"It appears… that the basis of ASCDI's complaint is that, by taking perfectly legitimate steps to enforce its registered trademark rights and by declining to make commercially sensitive sales information publicly available, Sun has in some way breached the UK Competition Act 1998," the statement read. "Sun categorically denies that it is in any way acting in an anti-competitive manner or that its actions amount in any sense to an abuse of any dominant market position."

The OFT refused to comment on the ASCDI's allegations, saying its complaints process was confidential.