EUROPEAN Union competition regulators launched two anti-trust investigations against IBM, suspecting it of abusing its dominant position in the mainframe computer market.
One investigation followed complaints by emulator software vendors T3 and TurboHercules against IBM’s practices, and focuses on the US computer group’s alleged tying of mainframe hardware to its mainframe operating system.
The second probe, opened on the European Commission’s own initiative, concerns alleged discriminatory behaviour towards competing suppliers of mainframe maintenance services. “The Commission has concerns that IBM may have engaged in anti-competitive practices with a view to foreclosing the market for maintenance services … in particular by restricting or delaying access to spare parts for which IBM is the only source,” said the Commission yesterday. The Commission enforces EU competition rules and can fine companies that break them.
IBM rejected the allegations but promised to cooperate fully with the investigation.
“IBM is fully entitled to enforce its intellectual property rights and protect the investments we have made in our technologies,” the company said in a statement.
It said Microsoftand its other big competitors had inspired the Commission’s action.