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Thursday, October 08, 2009

DOJ investigating IBM antitrust allegations: reports
Christian Ehret at 9:47 AM ET

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] is investigating IBM for allegations of antitrust violations stemming from their sales of mainframe computers, according to Wednesday media reports. Competitors allege that IBM is dominating the mainframe computer market [NYT report] by not allowing its operating systems to run on non-IBM mainframes. The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) [trade website] maintains [backgrounder text] that the effects of IBM's actions have "walled off vital corporate and government applications and data from the rapidly evolving high-end server market." The trade group argues that limiting the operating system's use to one platform presents problems and "retards innovation." A DOJ spokesperson had no comment on the investigation.

In January, T3 Technologies [corporate website] filed a complaint [press release; CCIA backgrounder] against IBM with the European Commission alleging that IBM refused to sell their operating system to T3's customers. T3's US suit was recently dismissed in a New York District Court, although the company plans to appeal. In August, a district court dismissed [JURIST report] a consumer class action antitrust lawsuit against telecommunications company Qualcomm [corporate website] that alleged the company has used the licensing of CDMA [industry backgrounder] related patents to adversely affect competition.

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