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IBM Not Out Of The Regulatory Woods Despite Withdrawal Of Emulator Complaints

Posted  August 24, 2011

Although three rivals of IBM have dropped their complaints that IBM illegally tied its mainframe hardware to its operating system, the computer giant is not out of regulatory woods yet.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the European Commission maintain ongoing antitrust investigations – sparked by the complaints – into a possible monopoly IBM holds in the mainframe computer market.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), IBM stated that two providers of IBM compatible emulator software, Neon Enterprise Software LLC and T3 Technologies Inc., have withdrawn their complaints filed with the European Commission.

Turbo Hercules SAS, a company providing similar products, has also dropped all complaints against IBM.  IBM has stated that the settlements did not involve any monetary compensation.

In addition to dropping their European Commission complaints, Neon and T3 are also dropping their antitrust lawsuits filed against IBM in the U.S.

The three companies that had lodged complaints against IBM were providers of emulator software used on mainframe computers.  This technology allows mainframe operating systems and applications to run Windows, Linux, Mac OS, or Solaris as the host environment, thereby bypassing the need for IBM’s proprietary mainframe software.

The withdrawal of the complaints has not ended the regulatory scrutiny, however.  Neither the DOJ nor the European Commission has concluded its antitrust investigation of IBM.

These investigations came as the result of numerous complaints filed by mainframe emulator software producers.  While the complaints have been withdrawn, the DOJ has requested the documents pursuant to the settled cases.

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues, Monopolization,