Oracle, Maintech Settle Support-Services Riff

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – Maintech, Inc. has agreed to pay $14 million to settle claims it broke state and federal law by providing support services to Oracle America customers.
     The settlement, upon final court approval, would resolve claims that Maintech illegally offered third-party customer support for Oracle’s Unix-based Solaris operating system, using acquired “proprietary” updates and related server support materials.
     Maintech countered with an antitrust lawsuit, claiming Oracle violated antitrust laws by tying updates to support service contracts and squeezing it out of a “robust” third-party aftermarket.
     Customers previously received free updates and support, but that all ended when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, a company purported to have made the Internet “what it is today,” and began requiring the exclusive contracts.
     Maintech argued, in part, that it had the right to continue providing support to customers who were originally Sun Microsystems’ customers.
     The company ultimately signed off, however, on Thursday’s 10-page stipulated agreement which provides specific prohibitions in addition to $14 million in damages.
     The agreement stated that “Maintech shall not give, sell or otherwise provide to anyone any Oracle/Sun software and/or software support materials, including any updates, bug fixes, patches, media kits or other proprietary software support materials, and including any patches, bug fixes or updates to the Solaris Operating System or for firmware on Oracle/Sun hardware.”
     Maintech is also prohibited from accessing any password-protected portions of Oracle’s website or FTP site and must destroy any Oracle software or support materials that exist on its computers or storage locations.
     Oracle’s other claims against Maintech for fraud, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, false advertising under the Lanham Act, intentional interference with prospective economic relations and unfair competition “have been resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement, and Oracle shall recover nothing further on those claims by way of this judgment,” according to the agreement.
     Under the agreement, Maintech would “recover nothing” for its counterclaims against Oracle for illegal tying and attempted monopolization under the Sherman Act and the Cartwright Act, intentional interference with prospective business advantage and unfair competition.
     The two companies will also pay their own costs and attorneys’ fees.
     Maintech attorney Valerie Wagner and Thomas Hixson, for Oracle, were not immediately available for comment.
     The settlement does not resolve claims against Terix in Oracle’s copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit.
     U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal was designated as the stipulated judge.

%d bloggers like this: