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November 23, 1995

EUROPE RAIDS DEC BASES IN UK, HOLLAND, GERMANY

By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp said yesterday that it was co-operating with a European Community investigation into its business practices following raids by officials from the European Commission’s anti-trust enforcement agency had on software production offices here in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. We are co-operating fully with the Commission anti-trust investigators since Digital’s policy is to comply with all the competition laws in the countries where we do business, the company said. We believe our existing practices comply with those laws. The company said it could make no further comment until we know the precise nature of the complaint and the identity of the complainants, but the Commission said the raids followed complaints from customers of allegedly abusive practices. The Competition Commissioner’s spokesman said the complaints related to linked deals for hardware and software maintenance contracts, saying companies that lodged complaints said the practices had reached a scale where it was almost impossible for a competitor to carry out maintenance on equipment sold by DEC. The complaints reportedly allege that DEC ties maintenance contracts for hardware and for software together, making it hard for companies to get software maintenance unless they buy DEC hardware, and indulges in discriminatory discounting, as well as charging much more for some services in Europe than in the US.

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