Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) is the target of yet another lawsuit – this time alleging the networking giant engages in antitrust practices. Specifically, Multiven Inc., a network maintenance and consulting services firm, filed suit Tuesday, claiming Cisco prevents firms like Multiven from servicing Cisco gear by requiring them to buy Cisco’s Smartnet maintenance services in order to receive patches and updates.
The Multiven complaint cites an Avaya Inc. case wherein the District Court in New Jersey ruled that tying software updates to service contracts is an anticompetitive practice.
Cisco disputes Multiven’s claims, stating that Cisco customers are not required to purchase services from Cisco and pointing to thousands of companies that offer such services to Cisco customers.
The suit is the second relating to Cisco partners. In October, a judge found Cisco violated a reseller agreement with Infra-Comm and awarded the company $6 million in damages.