Thursday, June 25, 2009 Rivals Move to Flag IBM as Anticompetitive in Mainframes

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The Computer & Communications Industry Association has pursued Big Blue for decades in an effort to rein in the technology giant's allegedly unfair behavior.

The CCIA now has added encouragement from a tiny firm backed by IBM rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which has lodged an antitrust complaint in Europe, while pressing a related lawsuit in federal court in New York and sounding out U.S. regulators. T3 Technologies Inc. argues that IBM unfairly has sewn up the market for mainframes, the powerful machines relied upon by virtually every Fortune 500 company to crunch data.

Ed Black, CCIA's chief executive, suggested that IBM's competitive behavior has worsened since it was freed from a Justice Department consent decree during President George W. Bush's first term. He's hopeful federal regulators will take a renewed interest.

"With the new administration, I think odds are pretty substantial," Black said. "They're doing the same stuff they were nailed for before, and very blatantly."

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