IBM strikes deal with EU over antitrust complaint

Case focuss on dominant position in the mainframe maintenance market

Computer giant IBM has made legally binding concessions to European Union regulators in order to avoid a fine for anticompetitive practices.

The European Commission opened an investigation into IBM in July 2010 over concerns that it might be abusing a dominant position on the mainframe maintenance market by hindering the access of independent maintenance service providers to critical spare parts.

In September 2011, the Commission consulted interested parties on proposals that IBM had made to resolve the situation. The U.S. company offered to provide certain spare parts and technical information to companies that maintain its mainframe computers under fair and reasonable terms. Wednesday's decision by the Commission makes those IBM commitments legally binding for five years.

The European Commission said it was satisfied that the concessions, which were revised after the stakeholder consultation, were sufficient to address competition issues.

"I am pleased that we could find a swift solution with IBM to our competition concerns. Timely interventions are crucial in fast-moving technology markets," said Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

Maintenance services for IBM's mainframes are offered both by IBM and by third party maintainers. Independent maintainers need rapid access to spare parts nd technical information in order to compete effectively on this market.

"IBM welcomes this final resolution of the inquiry into certain IBM mainframe maintenance practices and is pleased that the Commission's investigation of the IBM mainframe is now concluded," the company said.

This is the second case involving IBM that the European Commission has completed this year. Software vendors T3, Turbo Hercules and Neon Enterprise Software had made antitrust allegations against IBM, but these were later withdrawn and the Commission closed its investigation in August.

If IBM were to breach its commitments, the Commission could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of IBM's total turnover.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalIBMantitrusteuropean commission

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

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?