Legal battle between Cisco and Multiven flares up with EU antitrust complaint

Multiven has renewed its accusations that Cisco abuses its position by tying software bug fixes to its maintenance services

The feud between Cisco Systems and maintenance service provider Multiven has come to Europe with the filing of a new antitrust compliant over how Cisco provides software updates.

Multiven offers cloud-based services with which organizations can manage, monitor and maintain their IT network assets. Because of Cisco's dominance in the networking sector any management vendor's tools and services need to be compatible with its equipment.

The antitrust complaint filed with the European Commission on Aug. 20 is just the latest encounter in the feud between Multiven CEO and founder Peter Alfred-Adekeye and his former employer Cisco. Multiven filed an antitrust suit with the Swiss Competition Commission in February last year, while the companies settled a case in the U.S. back in 2010.

As part of the latter case, Multiven alleged that Cisco orchestrated Alfred-Adekeye's arrest on hacking charges, which Cisco vehemently denied. Multiven earlier this year also accused Cisco of stealing thousands of proprietary and copyright data files from its knowledge base.

In its latest complaint, Multiven again alleges that Cisco abuses its dominant position to harm consumers by bundling and tying software bug fixes, patches and updates for its operating system and application software to its maintenance services, dubbed SMARTnet.

This approach is in contrast to that of vendors such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and many others, which offer these types of "necessary and crucial" software updates for free, Multiven said on Tuesday.

"Cisco's refusal to make all software updates freely available to all customers that have purchased its software not only stifles free and fair competition but also puts the Internet at risk of avoidable cyberattacks on a daily basis," Alfred-Adekeye said in a statement.

The complaint also alleges that Cisco engages in a series of illegal anti-competitive acts, including coercing its 52,000 reseller partners to refuse to deal with Multiven and other companies that compete with SMARTnet.

Cisco wasn't immediately available for comment, but has in the past said that users are not required to buy Cisco's services and that thousands of partner companies offered service programs, including bug fixes, for its equipment.

This isn't the first time a third-party software maintenance provider and a large vendor are involved in a legal battle. Oracle has, for example, cracked down on a number companies it claims are providing support services for its products in an illegal fashion, including Rimini Street.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags managementlegalNetworkingnetworking hardwareantitrustCisco SystemsMultiven

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?