backtop


Print 22 comment(s) - last by Calin.. on Sep 21 at 2:31 AM


  (Source: neurope.eu)
IBM offered to give technical information and certain spare parts to other companies that maintain IBM's mainframe hardware and software

It seems as if the European Union (EU) is making a sport out of probing tech companies and charging them billions in fines. For instance, the EU slammed Microsoft with a 1.4 billion fine back in 2008 for violating antitrust laws. The EU has repeatedly attacked the company before and after that. In addition, the EU announced last week that it is still investigating Google's search dominance, saying that the search giant may have abused competitors.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) was thrown into two EU antitrust investigations last July, where competing suppliers of mainframe maintenance services accused IBM of "discriminatory behavior" in refusing to supply such inputs required for maintenance. 

The second investigation, which examined whether 
IBM was unfairly tying its mainframe hardware with its operating system, has recently been closed.

A preliminary assessment for the first investigation by the EU found that IBM's procedures "may amount to a constructive refusal to supply these inputs." The EU's executive Commission added, "IBM does not agree with the Commission's preliminary assessment. It has nevertheless offered commitments...to meet the Commission's competition concerns." 

IBM's offering of concessions could settle the EU's investigation and allow it to dodge any fines or antitrust infringement findings. 

IBM offered to give technical information and certain spare parts to other companies that maintain IBM's mainframe hardware and software under specific, non-discriminatory terms, according to Reuters.

The concessions would last for five years, and now, the EU says third party companies have one month to discuss the proposals. If the proposals are accepted, IBM will not be fined. But if the EU finds that IBM committed antitrust infringement, it may have to pay fines of up to 10 percent of global revenues. 

"I commend IBM's readiness to address our concerns about fair competition in the market for large computers which are crucial for the functioning of today's economy," said Joaquin Almunia, EU competition commissioner.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By silverblue on 9/20/2011 12:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the European Court thought that Google was a browser... ;) The only correct decision that they've made of this type was the Intel one, though the "10% of global revenues" bit obviously fell into the bin in that instance (plus it doesn't serve to help the victims of said behaviour in either case - if IBM were fined 10% of their global revenues, it wouldn't go to these competitors, would it?).

To be honest, the European Court is like a bad football referee, the only consistency being their ability to make bad decisions. It's like giving a string of penalty kicks when a foul was committed 6 yards outside the box. No wonder all us spectators are finding it somewhat bewildering.


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki