EC resolves antitrust probe into IBM mainframe biz
Big Blue to play nicely on big iron in binding agreement
IBM rivals now have a better chance of competing with the tech giant in the mainframe market, after the European Commission got Big Blue to loosen its grip on the business.
In a legally binding agreement, IBM will make spare parts and technical information "swiftly available".
It will do this, the EC added, under commercially reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. The move should allow independent mainframe maintainers that operate within the European Union to get their hands on more powerful computer kit.
"I am pleased that we could find a swift solution with IBM to our competition concerns. Timely interventions are crucial in fast moving technology markets," said competition policy Commissioner veep Joaquín Almunia.
The Commission said it was "satisfied" with IBM's commitments to improve its conditions for supplying its rivals in the mainframe maintenance services market.
Big Blue ought to be happy with the outcome of the EC investigation, given that it reached no conclusion on whether an antitrust infringement had occurred.
Indeed, the company said it was "pleased" that the Brussels' investigation had now been put to bed. ®
Please go after Oracle
Their changes to maintenance and support forced us to go back to them for the SPARC boxes we have not kicked out yet and now there is no such thing as 9x5 and we have to put every sparc box on maint. Does not seem fair and our prior maintenance supplier was actually better for 1/4th the money.
I don't understand why the EU still has a bug up about mainframe. It is an integrated system which serves a small portion of the market. There are plenty of alternative options if users don't want mainframe (although, not good ones, IMO). System z has near 100% uptime and unparallelled security. You can't have everyone and their cousin having at it (a la x86) and maintain those RAS and security levels.... If they are bored in Brussels, how about going after serious market penetration of an entire vertical such as breaking up Intel or ensuring that Cisco isn't abusing their networking dominance. You do not need to use mainframe, but it is nearly impossible not to use Intel or Microsoft.
Just how big is this market?
I mean, how many blokes will trust their shiny new z-whatever to Boggs the Builder (or whomever)?