IBM Settles Antitrust Case in European Mainframe Maintenance Market

The European Commission says it has reached a settlement with IBM on its antitrust actions in the mainframe maintenance market. IBM commits to make spare parts and technical information swiftly available, under commercially reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, to independent mainframe maintainers, according to a statement released by the commission.

The commission says it had concerns that "IBM may have imposed unreasonable conditions for supplying its competitors in the market of mainframe maintenance services in breach of EU antitrust rules prohibiting the abuse of a dominant market position." The commission adds that it is now satisfied that the commitments IBM has agreed to, revised in light of observations received in the course of a market test, are suitable to solve these competition concerns.

The commission also says it has concluded an investigation based on concerns that IBM might have been "abusing a dominant position on the mainframe maintenance market." There was no final determination if there was an infringement of EU competition rules.

The investigation was first launched in July 2010 over concerns that IBM might be abusing a dominant position on the mainframe maintenance market by hindering the access of independent maintenance service providers to critical spare parts. IBM proposed remedies to these concerns in September 2011.

A copy of the decision is available at the commission's website.