EC gives IBM rulebook to ensure mainframe market fairness

IBM has agreed to a set of rules to ensure healthy competition in the mainframe market.

legal hammer

IBM has come to an arrangement with the European Commission (EC) to ensure it doesn't gain a monopolistic hold on the mainframe market.

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.

Big Blue put forward suggestions as to how to ensure fair competition specifically in the mainframe maintenance market and the EC has now made these legally binding.

As part of the deal, IBM will make spare parts and technical data available quickly to independent mainframe maintenance companies, with no prejudice as to commercial terms.

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"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 Joaqun Almunia, commissioner vice president in charge of competition policy.

The agreement concludes an antitrust investigation launched back in July 2010. Should IBM fall back on its promises, the EC can fine to the tune of up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover.

IBM seemed content the matter was now resolved.

"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," it said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

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