This is the first I have heard of these two issues.
March 23, 2009
Rivals Say I.B.M. Stifles Competition to Mainframes
By ASHLEE VANCE
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — I.B.M. has dominated the mainframe computer business
since the category was created four decades ago. And it still gets about
one-quarter of its $100 billion in annual revenue from sales, software,
services and financing related to the machines.
So when an upstart, Platform Solutions in Sunnyvale, Calif., developed
software that turned standard servers into systems that mimicked I.B.M.’s
expensive mainframes, Big Blue fought back. After legal action failed to
fend off the pipsqueak, I.B.M. resorted to a bear hug: it bought Platform in
July for $150 million. And then it promptly terminated the innovative
Despite eliminating the Platform threat, I.B.M. still faces the wrath of
many in the computer industry. The Computer and Communications Industry
Association, a trade group backed by the likes of Google, Oracle and
Microsoft, described the Platform deal as “a clear attempt by I.B.M. to
purchase a company solely to foreclose competition in the mainframe
marketplace, protecting its cash cow at the expense of consumers.”
And T3 Technologies, a small company that resold Platform’s products and was
devastated by I.B.M.’s move, has filed an antitrust complaint against I.B.M.
with regulators at the European Commission.
Platform was not the only potential competitor that drew I.B.M.’s fire. At
the same time that it sued Platform, I.B.M. declined to renew a patent
license with Fundamental Software, which also made mainframe emulation
software. As a result, Fundamental sits in limbo with a once-popular product
it cannot sell, hoping that I.B.M. will change its stance. . . . . .
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