ATT Assures Competitors Over Sun Agreement

Reuters News

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 12, 1988 -- American Telephone and Telegraph Co said its financial and technology-sharing pact with Sun Microsystems Inc does not leave Sun's competitors at a disadvantage.

"I do not think there is any unfair advantage," ATT chairman and chief executive officer James Olson said in a speech to a business group. Sun competitors have said the plan to develop a unified version of the Unix operating system which some competitors lease from ATT gives Sun an edge in acquiring the technology. They have also said they fear they will be locked out of future versions of Unix.

Olson said the concerns about the pact is "a complete misunderstanding". ATT representatives have met with companies such as Apple Computer Inc, Digital Equipment Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co in an attempt to alleviate concerns relating to Unix, an industry standard software system for minicomputers. Some of the competitors are not satisfied, Olson said. "I think we have removed (the concerns) in some circles, and where we have not we will keep working to get the message out," he said.

"It is clear that some of them wonder... whether ATT will take Unix and make it a proprietary system. That is not true."

(c) 1988 Reuters Limited