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IBM Businesses The Courts

EU Launches Antitrust Investigation Against IBM 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the always-bet-on-blue dept.
FlorianMueller writes "The European Commission announced today that it has launched two parallel antitrust investigations into IBM's mainframe practices, following complaints lodged by T3 Technologies last year and French open source startup TurboHercules in March. EU regulators suspect an abuse of a dominant position and illegal tying of IBM's mainframe hardware to its proprietary mainframe operating system z/OS. There's even the possibility of a third case based on a complaint filed very recently by NEON, and the DoJ is also looking into this matter. IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel. This may also affect IBM's credibility when lobbying in the EU for open standards." Reader coondoggie points out a response from IBM saying that the accusations are being driven by Microsoft and other competitors.
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EU Launches Antitrust Investigation Against IBM

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  • When has there ever been any credibility to corporate lobbying?
  • by elrous0 (869638) *
    Tea Party launches Antichrist investigation against BHO.
  • by vvaduva (859950) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:33PM (#33034246)

    Wow...a company tying it's software to the hardware they manufactured! Holy crap...who could have imagined!?!

    • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Informative)

      by FlorianMueller (801981) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:42PM (#33034416) Homepage

      Wow...a company tying it's software to the hardware they manufactured! Holy crap...who could have imagined!?!

      IBM isn't the only company doing that. But they have a de facto monopoly on mainframes and that's why there's an antitrust issue. It takes a market position that is at least dominant (IBM is even superdominant on mainframes) AND anticompetitive behavior. One of the two isn't enough to make a legal case. I discussed the question of market dominance versus significance in this recent blog posting [blogspot.com].

      • Check your sarcasm detector; I think it might be on the blink. ;)
      • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:51PM (#33034590)
        Thank you. For the /.ers who are (still) unclear about this, having a monopoly is not illegal. IBM is basically the only company left selling mainframes; it's not their fault if everyone else chose to leave what is an incredibly high-risk market that requires oodles of investment. Similarly, tying your hardware to your software is not illegal in itself either (so you can stop clamoring for antitrust litigation against Apple).

        What's illegal is abusing a monopoly, you have to have both a dominant market position and anticompetitive activity like software/hardware lock-in before the government has a case. Which I think they do, in this instance.
        • by thbb (200684) on Monday July 26, 2010 @04:39PM (#33036282) Homepage

          You're talking about US law.

          This a EU investigation, and its legal grounding is different. Among others: tying your hardware to your software *is* illegal in EU, as it constitutes a bundled sale. Also, monopolies and oligopoles are under tight surveillance, and the EU can fine them if their margins reach beyond a certain threshold. There are full teams of statisticians who study sales numbers of telcos in EU, and determine what is a "fair" margin they are entitled to make.

          This is what we call a "market-driven social economy", where we have managed to insert some of the good ideas of socialism while still relying on the market to allow some form of competition between tightly controlled corporations.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        are you really going to start again florian? You are the only one who has been pushing this hype while citing your own blog.

        please go away

        • You are the only one who has been pushing this hype while citing your own blog.

          please go away

          I discussed the mainframe antitrust issue here on slashdot when there was significant news: the NEON complaint against IBM, and today's announcement of the European Commission's investigation. I don't think an EU investigation is just "hype". That's very real.

          Concerning my blog, I don't think the solution is for slashdot articles to be extremely long. At some point it makes sense to point to more detailed stories for those who care to read them. The source for the fact that the European Commission investiga

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by poetmatt (793785)

            You are tooting your own horn.

            "check my blog! I've got great insight!" The source for EC says they're investigating. It doesn't have your spin where you continue to parade that somehow the turbohercules scenario is monopolistic as if IBM should suddenly license the way turbohercules wants just because they ask. That part, is misleading. I guess I should pull up old comments again, where you are clearly the party to this entire scenario. [slashdot.org]

            And then we have when you get debunked bigtime [slashdot.org]

            get real.

            • I read through your old comments, just to see where the "debunking" was.

              You... linked to Groklaw. There's not much debunking. Almost everything else you said was some kind of insult. Or it told him to read the article, even though he wrote long replies [slashdot.org] that you avoided addressing any of the issues raised by. You never actually understood his argument. He's talking about the patents and so you say that the copyrights are the real problem. Then he tells you there's more than one problem (i.e. both of th

              • by poetmatt (793785)

                okay, have you read the original issue?

                This guy is claiming that IBM is being monopolistic for not changing their own software license to what turbohercules has asked for.

                Meanwhile, turbohercules is shitting their pants, saying oh! IBM threatened us! (advised by Florian on that, notably) When they have done absolutely nothing in court.

                Will they do something now? Who knows. Would they have before? They didn't.

                Nothing of the phrase go away has anything to do with being aimed at people, other than this time wi

                • > This guy is claiming that IBM is being monopolistic for not changing their own software license to what turbohercules has asked for.

                  No, they complained that they were illegally tying hardware and software in a market they have a monopoly on. They asked them to mitigate the issue by changing the license, so that they wouldn't have to go to court. You may remember that the EU also punished Microsoft for this. IBM has to follow EU law if they want to do business in the EU.

                  > Meanwhile, turbohercules

                  • by poetmatt (793785)

                    Florian is a reporter? No. Florian is a lobbyist. go look it up.

                    • A) You can be more than one thing. I say he's a reporter because he's reporting on the story. I note that you say 'lobbyist' but forget what he lobbied for: he lobbied *against software patents* Which is why I don't understand PJ's sudden apology for them, trying to make these claims in IBM's patents, which cover software running on otherwise non-infringing hardware, as being anything but software patents. I mean, she really did say something to the effect of "there's hardware in there too" without bo

                  • by poetmatt (793785)

                    PJ tried to bury? dude you are asinine, by far.

                    Originally, from Groklaw [groklaw.net]: "So, why doesn't Florian and the folks he is lobbying for release the earlier letter from Bowler, in which he apparently expressed that he was unaware that "IBM has intellectual property rights in this area"? This letter, then is addressing that expression and responding to it with incredulity. The list is to show Bowler that, indeed, IBM has rights that it believes TurboHercules would infringe if it goes forward, and I see that IBM is

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by StormReaver (59959)

        It takes a market position that is at least dominant (IBM is even superdominant on mainframes) AND anticompetitive behavior.

        While I don't care about mainframes, I hope IBM loses this case for the sole reason that it opens the doors for yet another antitrust action against Microsoft for paying retailers to exclude Linux, and against giant retailers who force Windows onto computer purchasers.

        • What makes you think Microsoft pays retailers to exclude Linux? Big box retailers are all about catering to the majority, not the minority. What's worse, Linux distro's go out of date so fast that stock can't keep up. That's why, when you do see Linux on the shelves of those places, it's usually old and out of date, or a distro that isn't revved very frequently.

          You're not going to see Linux on computers at BestBuy or whatever for very real logistical reasons, not anyone paying them to exclude it.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Why is there this ever increasing hatred of selling hardware linked with software?

      Are cars going to have to untie their monitoring software so anyone can just mod it to do what they want? What about airplanes? Where does it end?

      Are companies not allowed to combine ANYTHING with software and then claim a lock down on the software? Is that really where this is headed?

      • There's enough competition in the market for cars to take care of that problem. But there isn't enough competition for mainframes. There isn't any significant competitive pressure on IBM in that field.

        It's not illegal to have a monopoly. It's not illegal to bundle hardware and software. The combination of a dominant market position and abusive conduct is, however, an antitrust violation.

        • by jgagnon (1663075)

          Agreed, but what does that have to do with bundling software with hardware? Are you suggesting that people can imply some divide between two parts of the same product and then arbitrarily force a company to comply? Why is software and hardware sold together (both relying on each other) such a bad thing for a company to claim as a single product?

          I am NOT arguing for or against the antitrust case, I am pointing out that there is an ever increasing population of people that seem to think every combination of

          • Agreed, but what does that have to do with bundling software with hardware? Are you suggesting that people can imply some divide between two parts of the same product and then arbitrarily force a company to comply?

            Not arbitrarily. There are criteria for that. In the EU, this isn't the first bundling issue: Microsoft was forced to offer Windows in a special version without the MediaPlayer, and last year an investigation concerning browsers was settled with the introduction of a browser choice dialog box. Ironically, IBM itself lobbied against Microsoft in those contexts.

            Why is software and hardware sold together (both relying on each other) such a bad thing for a company to claim as a single product?

            The bad thing is not to sell it together -- it's if customers who only want one are forced to buy the other as well, especially if one or both of them

            • by jgagnon (1663075)

              Not arbitrarily. There are criteria for that. In the EU, this isn't the first bundling issue: Microsoft was forced to offer Windows in a special version without the MediaPlayer, and last year an investigation concerning browsers was settled with the introduction of a browser choice dialog box. Ironically, IBM itself lobbied against Microsoft in those contexts.

              Those are different cases, almost entirely. IBM has always sold their hardware with their OS software and has always dominated mainframes. Likewise, they have never offered them as separate products (at least that I'm aware of). Microsoft, once in a dominant position, used every dirty tactic to block out attacks on that dominance by tying a version of competing software with their dominant OS, bundling it for "free", and then squashing any hopes at profit by someone else. They took previously separate p

              • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Informative)

                by bws111 (1216812) on Monday July 26, 2010 @04:01PM (#33035690)

                IBM stopped bundling hardware and software in 1969. z/OS is a separate product from the hardware. You do not get a copy of z/OS when you buy a zSeries machine. You can run any OS on it you wish. That includes z/OS, Linux, z/VM, z/VSE, and OpenSolaris. However, if you want to run z/OS, then you DO need a zSeries machine, as that is the only way it is licensed. TH would like IBM to license z/OS to run on their emulator. But, there is a problem - IBM believes the TH emulator infringes on over 100 of it's hardware and architecture patents, and therefore will not license z/OS to run on it.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by jgagnon (1663075)

                  Is IBM preventing people from writing/porting an OS for/to their zSeries machines?

                  What it boils down to is that people don't want to buy IBM's expensive hardware (which subsidizes their software investment) but still want to buy their software? Did Steve Jobs ever work for IBM?

                  But seriously, the sell the hardware with your choice of supported operating systems, some at additional cost. I'm not sure how that supports someone's "right" to run the OS on any hardware platform they choose (via emulation or any

                  • by bws111 (1216812)

                    You are correct - IBM is not preventing anyone from running what they want on their hardware. For some reason unfathomable to me, MS seems to think they do have the right to force IBM to license their software for use on other hardware.

                    • by bws111 (1216812)

                      IBM did license their software for use on other hardware (Amdahl etc). I don't think they were forced to (I believe the only case that IBM lost with the DOJ was in 1956, long before 'software' entered the picture). However, whether they were forced to or not Amdahl (and other manufacturers) did not get the free ride that Hercules/TurboHercules seems to think they are entitled to. Those other companies actually PAID IBM for patent licenses, and in many cases made cross-licensing deals so that IBM could u

              • The problem is you believe this is to help costumers directly. It's not. This is designed to help competing companies.
                Of course, costumers will benefit indirectly from the increase in competition, but they're not the primary beneficiary by the measure.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Smauler (915644)

            A monopolistic hardware company can destroy other software companies with lockins... There's not a problem at the moment with Apple, for example, since they do not hold a dominant market share. Laissez faire capitalism does _not_ work, the government has to be on hand to whack down the big corporations every so often. At least, that's the theory.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bws111 (1216812)

        This is not about 'bundling' of hardware and software (IBM stopped doing that more than 40 years ago). This is about an operating system (z/OS), which is a product IBM sells. z/OS runs only on z/Architecture machines. Currently, there is one manufacturer of z/Architecture machines - IBM. Therefore, if you want to run z/OS, you must have an IBM mainframe. Microsoft (through TurboHercules) is complaining that IBM is abusing it's position by not licensing z/OS to be run on TurboHercules' emulator. Howeve

        • by jgagnon (1663075)

          So how is selling a software product that only runs on your hardware product not the same as bundling hardware with software?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bws111 (1216812)

            Bundling is putting two things together in one package. You do not need z/OS to run a mainframe - you can use Linux, z/VM, OpenSolaris, or z/VSE. You do need a zSeries machine to run z/OS, but the license can be transferred to a different machine. The two products (hardware and software) are sold separately. If a legitimate competitor (ie. one that licenses IBM IP) arose, IBM may very well license z/OS to be run on that hardware. No such competitor currently exists.

            • by makomk (752139)

              No, it's bundling. IBM are selling one product (z/OS) on the condition that it only be used together with another of their products (their zMachines), and many of their customers are in a position where non-IBM hardware would be a better solution if it wasn't for the fact that IBM won't license z/OS for it and they're dependant on z/OS. The patents are just another way of tying z/OS to IBM hardware; there's superior ways to do much of what they cover, but IBM have designed z/OS so that if you want to run it

              • by bws111 (1216812)

                In what language does the word 'bundle' include two different things that are sold separately, at potentially the same or different times? By your definition, every video game sold by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo is 'bundled' with the respective consoles. Every app Apple sells for OS X is 'bundled' with OS X, etc.

                I am quite sure that if you have 'superior' ways of doing things either IBM or it's customers would love to hear from you. Since you obviously have no interest in patents, why not enlighten u

                • by makomk (752139)

                  I suppose possibly it's technically tying [wikipedia.org] rather than bundling, but anti-trust law doesn't really make the distinction. They both have the same effect on competition.

        • > In particular, they see nothing wrong with the fact that TH infringes IBM patents, and IBM therefore does not recognize them as a legitimate competitor.

          So you admit that when they called the Hercules emulator an "infringing platform", that they were attacking an OSS-licensed product, right? Because TH couldn't infringe upon IBM's patents by using Hercules without Hercules being infringing, given that they use only it and commodity hardware. If you want to point out a hardware patent, I'll mention tha

          • by bws111 (1216812)

            I admit no such thing. First, I do not believe that a private conversation (which these letters were) between two parties in any way shape or form can constitute an 'attack' on a third party, absent some actual action against the third party.

            Secondly, your treatment of the word infringement strikes me as the same way some people treat the word cancer - if it not said out loud then it doesn't exist. IBM saying that Hercules infringes their patents is not what makes it infringe, and IBM not saying it infrin

            • > I admit no such thing. First, I do not believe that a private conversation (which these letters were) between two parties in any way shape or form can constitute an 'attack' on a third party, absent some actual action against the third party.

              You don't seem to understand what an admission is. You don't get to play Humpty-Dumpty and pretend that your words mean something other than what you say. The plain meanings of your words say things you, apparently, did not intend to. Thus, they are admissions.

  • Groklaw (Score:5, Informative)

    by just_another_sean (919159) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:34PM (#33034268) Homepage Journal

    Here is some facts and opinion from Groklaw, at least on the TurboHercules part.

    Groklaw [groklaw.net]
    Digging a Little Deeper into TurboHercules/IBM - OpenMainframe.org and Microsoft

    Despite the fact that PJ probably has a few blinders at work when opining on IBM I believe this to be relevant considering
    Florian's seemingly diametrically opposed (to PJ's that is) opinions on IBM...

    • Re:Groklaw (Score:5, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Monday July 26, 2010 @03:00PM (#33034768) Journal

      blinders on how? PJ is a paralegal and has no ties to IBM whatsoever.

      Florian is doing nothing but spin lately. I debunked him before on this article and if he tries this again, I'll debunk him again. We don't need his spin on slashdot.

      • OK, poor choice of words. I completely agree that PJ is impartial and focuses more on facts then anything else. But not everyone sees it that way and given the exact opposite nature of Florian's stance on the issue I was trying to present Groklaw as an opposing opinion. At this point I'm open to either side's opinion on the matter until we see the case move along but I agree it is difficult to take Florian seriously when he seems to be simply using this news to further promote his blog...

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          OK, poor choice of words. I completely agree that PJ is impartial and focuses more on facts then anything else.

          Do you think her presumed impartiality is corroborated by the fact that during all those years she never criticized anything IBM did, other than disagreeing with them on whether there should be software patents? That she claims to be against software patents but wrote that IBM is free to sue the pants off TurboHercules with patents? It's at the very least conspicuous that she's more loyal to IBM than Rush Limbaugh to the Republican Party.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by poetmatt (793785)

            That's the biggest stretch I have ever seen. Where do you come up with this? Just because someone isn't complaining about something doesn't mean the openly support it.

            Oh wait. Hey, Florian, you never say anything bad about terrorism. You must support it!

            That's how off base your concept is. People can be against software patents while acknowledging contracts, which is something you clearly are forgetting. If Turbohercules causes a stir, it's going to hurt open source and be very pro software patents, actual

      • by makomk (752139)

        Doesn't matter. PJ's obviously not neutral on IBM, no matter who she is, and neither are various /. commenters. For example, when Microsoft make legal threats against commercial distributors of Linux over patent infringement related to interoperability, that's an attack on Linux and on open source software. However, when IBM made legal threats against a commercial distributor of Hercules over patent infringement related to interoperability, that's somehow not an attack on Hercules itself because the company

      • PJ is a paralegal and has no ties to IBM whatsoever

        How do you know PJ has no ties to IBM whatsoever?

    • There's an interestingly dishonest claim of dishonesty at the end of that Groklaw article. Apparently, TurboHercules both said that:

      Indeed, just a few days before we filed the complaint with the European Commission, Mr. Mark Anzani, the CTO of IBM's mainframe division, wrote to me to allege that the open source Hercules emulator may have violated no fewer than 173 of IBM's patents or patent applications.

      Not only did IBM deny our request, but it now suddenly claims, after ten years, that the Hercules open-source emulator violates IBM intellectual property that it has refused to identify.

      According to PJ, these two statements contradict each other and demonstrate that "they intended to attack IBM no matter what IBM did". Except that making grandiose threatening claims about the number of patents infringed is not, in any way, identifying what patents have actually been infringed, and in fact provides next to no information. (In fact, I'm fairly sure that PJ said

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Sorry, but you are entirely incorrect. In the letter [turbohercules.com] where the 173 patents are mentioned is a list of each and every patent, including the patent number and title of the patent. This letter is directly linked to in the Groklaw article.

        • > Sorry, but you are entirely incorrect. In the letter where the 173 patents are mentioned is a list of each and every patent, including the patent number and title of the patent. This letter is directly linked to in the Groklaw article.

          You're talking about letter #4. They're talking about letter #2.

          Everybody only remembers letters #3 & #4, because we saw them first (#3 asks them to identify the infringement, letter #4 is the list of patents).

          But in letter #1, TH asks IBM to consider a business pro

          • by bws111 (1216812)

            The post that I responded to included a quote saying "... just a few days before we filed ... may have violated 173 patents...". That is letter #4. Letter #2 was written months before they filed, and contains no reference at all to '173 patents', just a statement that 'we think it is an infringing platform'. The claim made by the poster that IBM made 'grandiose threatening claims about a number of patents without in any way providing what patents have actually been infringed' is completely false, no matt

            • Those statements were made at different times. The fact of whether or not IBM had yet identified the patents in question changed during that time.

              If I said "Sarah Palin is not the president of the USA", would you call me a liar if she were later elected?

              • by bws111 (1216812)

                No, but I do think you are a liar if you say the statement "We think that mimicking IBM's proprietary, 64-bit System Z architecture requires IBM intellectual property, and you will understand that IBM could not be reasonably asked to consider licensing it's operating systems for use on infringing platforms," is in any way making "grandiose threatening claims about the number of patents infringed". That first statement is the ENTIRE statement about 'infringement' from letter #2.

                The simple fact is that IBM N

  • Reminds me of IBM's long history of trouble with US anti-trust.
  • by thetagger (1057066) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:39PM (#33034366)

    If IBM can't disallow the use of z/OS under an emulator, does it also mean that Apple can't disallow OS X on Hackintoshes?

    • Probably not, since Apple does not have the kind of market share in the PC market that IBM has in the mainframe market. Last I checked, something like 90% of mainframes were IBM, versus something like 6% of PCs being Apple products.
      • Probably not, since Apple does not have the kind of market share in the PC market that IBM has in the mainframe market. Last I checked, something like 90% of mainframes were IBM, versus something like 6% of PCs being Apple products.

        Yes, but only something like 0.00006% of servers are mainframes.

        If you're going to pretend Apples and PCs are interchangeable, you can depend on the fact that the same sort of substitute goods comparison will occur to IBM.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Smauler (915644)

          If you're going to pretend Apples and PCs are interchangeable

          They are for most people - they do exactly the same job. On the one hand, PC's can play just about all current games and applications, on the other Macs emit an aura of smug. YMMV, but they are essentially interchangeable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Sorry, but I have not swallowed Apple's marketing campaign hook, line, and sinker. Apple produces personal computers, which have always been a part of the PC market. There is not a separate "Macintosh" market, and most of Apple's product lines do not fall into the category of "workstations," if you wanted to claim there is a separate "workstation market." Mainframes, on the other hand, are quite clearly in a different market than other server computers -- they include features that is not even relevant f
    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      As an alternative question, who would really want to "steal" z/OS anyway. Does it even run on anything other an an IBM mainframe? And if you have the money for the hardware, chances are you want the software... or maybe Linux. I don't have any mainframe experience, so I'm not sure, however now that Macs are basically just expensive PCs and there is a reasonable success rate getting OS X to run on non-branded hardware, the Apple situation seems different. On the other hand, Apple also doesn't care if you

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It runs on an emulator, and an organization that wants to continue running its older mainframe software on non-mainframe hardware may want to use such an emulator.
      • As an alternative question, who would really want to "steal" z/OS anyway.

        TurboHercules just asked for a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing offer. In other words, customers should pay for it. They just shouldn't be forced to run it exclusively on IBM hardware.

        Does it even run on anything other an an IBM mainframe?

        Yes. Emulation is the answer.

        And if you have the money for the hardware, chances are you want the software... or maybe Linux.

        You can run GNU/Linux on a mainframe, it's called z/Linux. However, if you have mission-critical programs running on z/OS, you're locked in right now and porting is easier said than done. There are estimates that a couple hundred billion lines of legacy code is still in use on main

      • by afabbro (33948)

        however now that Macs are basically just expensive PCs

        I guess I missed the time when Macs were something other than just expensive personal computers. Was there a time when they were calculators or basketball hoops? Or perhaps you're misusing the term personal computer...

    • If IBM can't disallow the use of z/OS under an emulator, does it also mean that Apple can't disallow OS X on Hackintoshes?

      You already got a pretty accurate answer from 'betterunixthanunix' about market share. I also explained that on a different branch of this discussion tree, here [slashdot.org]. Concerning Apple, they may be affected by a different EU initiative [slashdot.org] further down the road.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:46PM (#33034500) Homepage

    Finally, we get to the interesting part of TurboHercules v. IBM:

    There's an antitrust dispute, with TurboHercules saying that IBM is abusing a dominant market position. That's normal. The cool part in this case is that IBM has mentioned that they have a pile of software patents.

    That means that if the European institutions (commission and court of justice) decide that IBM has to allow interoperability, they should also have to decide if IBM can subsequently use their mentioned software patents to block that required interoperability.

    It sounds like a no-brainer. Of course they should be allowed to use patents to negate court-imposed requirements. But it's not a no-brainer: It didn't work in the US, and it didn't work previously in the EU.

    • > Of course they should be allowed to use patents to negate court-imposed requirements.

      Typing too fast, I forgot the "n't" from "shouldn't". I'm sure that was obvious anyway.

      The previous US and EU cases I mentioned are EU v. Microsoft (about Samba), and US FTC v. Rambus. In both cases, there was clear abusive practices, but we didn't get a statement in either case about MS or Rambus being prevented from using their patents later to prevent competition. In the EU, it looked like we'd win, but the

  • by CaptainOfSpray (1229754) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:48PM (#33034546)
    "IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel."

    How fast we forgot! Or maybe it's that you young uns never knew...IBM wrote the book on fighting and defeating anti-trust actions by not winning in court, but winning in the market place. Check out what happened 1956 and 1969, and how those events made IBM stronger, not weaker.
  • by MaggieL (10193) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:50PM (#33034580)

    "IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel."

      Actually, IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by IBM, too.

  • It looks like someone's been fiddling with the wayback machine again. In other news, the government bailout of the buggy-whip industry is costing the taxpayers BILLIONS!
  • This is the same company that said personal computers wouldn't take off. They made 250,000 PCs, just enough to cover the 2 million orders.
  • http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/64143 [networkworld.com]

    Companies decry government regulation and restrictions on the free market, and yet at the same time use those exact same "tools" of restrictions to subvert each other.

    Maybe that's free market at it's best? Using all tools at your disposal. Sure makes things messy though, doesn't it?

    I can't say IBM's finger pointing at Microsoft is terribly surprising though...

  • Whenever I see these anti-trust probes I can't but wonder why nobody cares about what I see as a textbook case of monopoly abuse.
    Ebay has a definite monopoly on online auctions and they use it to push paypal down our throats (claiming not even Google checkout is safe...)

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