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US govt probes IBM's mainframe business

The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into IBM's mainframe business for anticompetitive behavior, according to reports.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into IBM's mainframe business for anticompetitive behavior.

According to a bevy of reports, the DOJ is requesting information from IBM's smaller rivals. The Computer and Communications Industry Association has been stumping for a probe of IBM's mainframe practices.

The CCIA argues that IBM is really the only player in mainframes. CCIA notes:

Although the mainframe market is not perceptible to the average consumers, these large expensive computer systems power most fortune 500 companies, governments, and financial institutions. IBM plug-compatible mainframe (PCM) computers, which have been in use for over a half a century, are the most popular platform for business computing today. It is estimated that $5 trillion of corporate and government data and applications are stored on mainframes. They serve as the backbone for 70-80% of the world’s computer-based transactions involving ATM sessions, airline bookings, tax filings, health records, and other essential services.

In January, a small U.S. mainframe supplier filed a complaint with the European Commission accusing Big Blue of abusing its position in the European mainframe market.

In an Associated Press report, IBM said it will cooperate with the probe.

This article was first published as a blog post on CNET News.

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