EU Antitrust Officials Raid Digital Equipment Offices
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ European Commission officials have raided Digital Equipment Corp.’s offices in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands to investigate charges of anti-competitive practices.
A lawyer at the computer maker’s European headquarters in Geneva said company officials were cooperating with the commission’s antitrust investigators, who entered the three offices Tuesday.
The lawyer, Eric Herkens, said the probe concerned the company’s software-maintenance business.
Officials at the commission, the European Union’s antitrust watchdog, said the raids were prompted by formal complaints from other companies, but declined to identify them.
The officials said the companies alleged that Digital had abused its strong position in the 15-nation EU market by tying its hardware-maintenance contracts to its software-maintenance contracts, making it difficult for Digital customers to get software services from other sources.
The companies also allege that Digital uses discriminatory discounting practices and charges higher prices for some services in Europe than in the United States.
Digital, based in Maynard, Mass., could face fines if the commission decides that EU antitrust rules have been breached by the company.