IBM Back in the Antitrust Crosshairs: Deja Vu Mixed with Vertigo

Sources cited by The New York Times indicate the U.S. Justice Department has once again opened an antitrust investigation against IBM.

Remember IBM?

The new investigation concerns allegations that the company has refused to license mainframe software products to third parties. A refusal to license isn’t necessarily an illegal form of competition, but may be if coupled with other anticompetitive practices.

IBM has come under the gun from anticompetition regulators throughout its history.

Ironically, the case that it won did the most damage. In 1983, the government dropped an investigation that started in 1969. But by then IBM had already made significant and possibly life-altering modifications to its operations. See:

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