European Commission investigates IBM’s conduct on the mainframe market

On 26 July 2010, the European Commission issued a press release stating that IBM is subject to a formal investigation for two alleged abuses of its dominant position on the market for mainframe computers in breach of Article 102 TFEU.

The first investigation concerns alleged illegal tying of IBM’s mainframe hardware products to its dominant mainframe operating system.  T3 and Turbo Hercules, two emulator software vendors, have complained with the European Commission that IBM’s tying would keep emulating technology out of the mainframe market, ultimately preventing consumers from using certain applications on non-IBM hardware.

The other investigation, which the Commission started on its own initiative, focuses on IBM’s alleged discriminatory behavior aimed at foreclosing the market for maintenance services, by restricting or delaying access to spare parts for which IBM is the only source. [Gabriele Accardo]