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SAP hit by competition complaint

Just the same as Microsoft in 2004

German software company SAP has been hit by a competition complaint from a company which previously won a $139m patent infringement case against it.

Versata Software has complained to the European Competition Commission, alleging that SAP illegally excluded it from selling to three quarters of SAP's customer base by withholding information it needed to interoperate with SAP systems.

Versata claims, based on documents seen as a result of the patent case, that SAP took action to deliberately exclude its pricing product, called Pricer, from the market.

Thomas Vinje, Versata's lawyer, said the Commission should take action to allow Versata to compete fairly again, and fine SAP.

Versata alleges that SAP took three steps to slam the door on future sales. It refused to share interoperability information, it cloned Versata's product and finally it bundled that product for free with its ERP software.

SAP is accused of changing its interface to stop Versata's pricing product from working, and also told customers it would not work.

Versata Software was awarded $139m from a Texas court which found SAP guilty of patent infringement in 2009. That case is still waiting on "post-trial matters".

The full statement is here. We've called the Commission, but it does not usually comment until it launches a full investigation. ®

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