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T3, Turbo Hercules and Neon Enterprise Software had made antitrust allegations against IBM, but these were later withdrawn and the Commission closed its investigation in August.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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?