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Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. is under investigation by France’s competition regulator after Hewlett-Packard Co. complained that Oracle used discriminatory practices on its licensing and support for products based on Intel Corp. systems.
The competition authority said it opened a probe to examine Hewlett-Packard’s July complaint that Oracle’s refusal to support Intel’s Itanium systems would be an abuse of dominant position, and that its license pricing was “decided unilaterally.”
Hewlett-Packard described “a generalized eviction strategy by Oracle, reinforced, according to it, by a deceitful ad campaign against HP Integrity servers,” the regulator said in a decision published on its website today.
Hewlett-Packard has also disputed in the U.S. Oracle’s plan to stop developing products that use Intel’s Itanium chip, which HP uses in some servers. Oracle, the largest database-software maker, has responded with claims including false advertising. Its lower-priced systems using Intel chips are losing ground to competitors as it uses its 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems to develop computer servers that run Oracle database and applications.
The competition authority refused Hewlett-Packard’s request for immediate action to force Oracle to change its behavior, saying there was no “grave and immediate threat” to warrant action.
Spokesmen for Oracle and Hewlett-Packard didn’t immediately return calls for comment on the investigation.
--With assistance from Aoife White in Brussels, Amy Thomson in London and Ragnhild Kjetland in Frankfurt. Editors: Peter Chapman, Anthony Aarons
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