Oracle faces antitrust probe in South Korea

Maintenance contracts are at issue -- in particular, what software is included

In the past, South Korea's antitrust body has trained its sights on the likes of Google and Qualcomm. Now, Oracle is the latest to draw the agency's ire, resulting in an investigation of the database giant for potentially anticompetitive behavior.

The investigation, which apparently has been under way for some time, reportedly focuses on Oracle's insistence that customers pay for maintenance services for all the Oracle software they use rather than choose different maintenance vendors.

"Companies usually employ many management systems scattered around its workplaces, so Oracle's practice of servicing all systems when one needs fixing can become a burden," Korea Fair Trade Commission secretary-general Shin Young-son told The Korea Herald.

Oracle declined to comment and the FTC did not respond to a request to comment for this story.

Results of the probe are expected to be released in June or July. A fine could amount to as much as three percent of sales, Shin said, according to the Korea Herald.

"Maintenance contracts have always been a significant -- and significantly profitable -- part of Oracle's business," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, in an email interview.

The company also has a history of acting aggressively toward organizations it believes are infringing on its turf, as evidenced by lawsuits it has pursued against third-party maintenance players, he said.

"These points might be factors in the Korea investigation, but the larger issue is likely one faced by every global vendor: Practices considered a common part of business in one country or locale might be considered uncommonly onerous in another," King said. "In order not to run afoul in such situations, a wise vendor will correct its course to avoid potential dangers."

Oracle may have failed to pursue that strategy in Korea, he added, so "it's worth considering whether the company faces similarly rough waters in other markets."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags antitrustlegalsoftwareOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?