The heart of the matter
The Armonk, N.Y., giant has long held a near-monopoly position in mainframes, which are large computers that can cost $1 million or more and are designed to run accounting software anddatabases. For decades, the company operated under terms of a 1956 consent decree with the government that required it to license mainframe technology to competitors.
The final terms of that decree were phased out in 2001. After that, the CCIA alleges IBM began to tighten its grip on the market by not allowing its newest software to be used on competitors' machines. Some analysts calculate that as much as a quarter of IBM's $104 billion in annual revenue stems from mainframes, despite the company's shift towards computer services and consulting.