IBM hit by EC monopoly compliant

IBM could face monopoly allegations from the European Commission, after a complaint from mainframe rival T3 Technologies.

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IBM could face monopoly allegations from the European Commission, after a complaint from mainframe rival T3 Technologies.

T3 Technologies has filed a competition complaint with the European Commission accusing IBM of abusing its power in the mainframe computer industry.

T3 accused IBM of engaging in a range of anti-competitive actions, including preventing sales of competing mainframe hardware products by tying the sale of its operating system to its mainframe hardware, and of withholding patent licences.

In a statement on its website, T3 said IBM has "an exclusive lock on the mainframe market" due to its "its focused action against mainframe competitors". "In IBM’s most recent quarter, it announced that its mainframe business grew by 25 percent year-over-year. It is estimated that over 25 percent of IBM’s US$100 billion in revenue and 40 percent of its profits are derived from its monopoly in the mainframe market.

IBM declined to comment. An IBM spokesperson said: "As IBM has not seen any complaint it is inappropriate to comment on specifics relating thereto."

From 1992 until 2002, T3 said it sold IBM mainframes, but later produced two alternative mainframe product lines.

The T3 complaint comes just a day after the EC charged Microsoft with abusing its monopoly by tying the Internet Explorer browser to the Windows operating system.

T3 is also taking separate legal action against IBM in the US.