German anti-cartel bods tell IBM to 'warten' as T-Systems deal probe extended by two weeks

Potential spanner in the works for mainframes biz agreement

IBM's mooted takeover of Deutsche Telekom's mainframe services business, T-Systems, has hit a speed bump.

The German anti-cartel regulator Bundeskartellamt wants more time to investigate the deal before giving it the go-ahead.

The regulator's website shows a two-week extension has been agreed.

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The first stage of any investigation must be completed within one month. If the regulator believes that further examination is required, the takeover moves to the second stage, which gives investigators four months to come to a decision.

A spokeswoman for the regulator confirmed it has been in the second stage of the investigation since March and has now agreed an extension with both companies.

The latest deadline is now the 9 July.

The news of the buy broke in January but T-Systems denied it was a takeover. The company told The Register at the time: "This is not a sale of the business segment. T-Systems will continue to offer the services in the market and supply them to the customers, while IBM will provide a share of the services."

But German reports suggested as many as 400 T-Systems staff were moving over.

Deutsche Telekom's mainframe business has struggled in recent years to deal with competition from cloud providers, and last year it announced major job cuts.

In DT's results for Q1 2019, T-Systems showed flat revenues of €6.9bn, blaming continued declines in its traditional IT business as well as investments in growth areas and shifting to an IP network. ®

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