Santa Ana, CA – Saying that it has not raised the price of its Nastran fine element analysis product since 1998, MSC.Software has disputed a recent claim by the U. S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that its 1999 acquisitions of Universal Analytics Inc. (UAI) and Computerized Structural Analysis & Research Corp. (CSAR) gave the company a monopoly on specialized engineering software used in the automotive and aerospace industries. The FTC on October 10, 2001 sought to undo the acquisitions, saying they enable MSC to control Nastran pricing.
Both UAI and CSAR, like MSC, developed Nastran finite element analysis software, originated by NASA.
MSC says that several independent companies still market their own Nastran software, and that Nastran is only one of several reputable FEA codes. Frank Perna, president and CEO of MSC.Software likened the FTC’s claim to charging Nabisco with cornering the Oreo cookie market.
Earlier this year, Daratech estimated the overall engineering simulation market worldwide to be valued at $1.1 billion. Of that, the research organization put the FEA solver market, including all varieties of Nastran, at $300 million. The FTC claims that Nastran sales last year accounted for between $60-$70 million of MSC’s $178 million sales last year. The company says that sales of Nastran software, excluding training and other services, came to only $30 million – or approximately 10% of the total market, and certainly not a monopoly.
Richard Bush, head of marketing communications for MSC, says that although the company is recognized as the leader in Nastran development, its current business is broken up into systems, services and technology – with FEA solver software a section of its technology business.