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SAP Abused Its Dominance in Software, Versata Says

SAP AG, the world’s biggest maker of business-management software, abused its dominant position, Versata Software Inc. said in a complaint to the European Union’s competition regulator.

Versata, based in Austin, Texas, accuses SAP of forcing its price-calculating software called Pricer out of the market by refusing to give information that would allow it to work with SAP products. Versata also claims Walldorf, Germany-based SAP cloned Pricer and combined it with other SAP products so that its clients wouldn’t buy Pricer.

“This is an egregious breach of competition law,” Thomas Vinje, a lawyer at Clifford Chance LLP representing Versata, said in an interview in Brussels today.

SAP, which said it would acquire Dublin, California-based Sybase Inc. May 12 to help it fend off competition from Oracle Corp., was found to have violated Versata’s patents by a jury in Marshal, Texas last year. The jury ordered SAP to pay Versata $138.6 million.

SAP spokesman Christoph Liedtke said the company knows of the complaint and declined to comment further, saying the company never comments on ongoing or new cases.

Vinje, who represented Oracle in its bid to win approval to acquire Sun Microsystems Inc., said the SAP complaint was filed today.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, can reject complaints if it decides there isn’t enough evidence of anti-competitive behavior.

The EU’s antitrust regulator will study the complaint, said Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the commission, in a telephone interview today. She declined to comment further.

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