Continuant Inc. of Fife, WA filed an antitrust suit in federal court, claiming that Avaya stops competitors from fixing or maintaining equipment sold by Avaya.
Continuant alleges that Avaya maintains “a monopolistic stranglehold on the separate market for post-warranty service and maintenance" of telecom systems, and wants to prevent customers from selecting other maintenance vendors.
Last summer Avaya sued Continuant for "irreparable injury and harm" caused by Continuant’s efforts to maintain Avaya equipment.
Continuant's suit seeks to bar Avaya "from continuing its anti-competitive conduct," including bundling service contracts with sales and not providing passwords for maintaining phone systems. "Avaya's the only company that has a policy like this," said Bruce Shelby, Continuant's sales VP. "They say a customer doesn't have the right to access their system to perform maintenance" or to hire a third party to do it."
Shelby said that is illegal, and that Avaya is overcharging customers for maintenance when its service level has declined because of layoffs. Avaya has been trying to boost continuing revenues from maintainance, rather than relying on one-time sales. (info from Channel News, Tri-City Herald, Washington Business Journal)