French TurboHercules Goes After IBM With Antitrust Motion

A French firm has slapped IBM with an antitrust lawsuit in Europe, accusing Big Blue of preventing users to run IBM mainframe operating system on its machines other than IBM's, thereby seriously impacting the competition in the market.

The company, named TurboHercules, which specialises in mainframe emulation software development, claimed that the tech giant’s denial to make its z/OS available on non-IBM machines infringes on European antitrust laws.

In its complaint, the French firm is calling the European antitrust authorities to cease the company’s attempts to bundle software to hardware, as well as instruct it to make the protocols and APIs of the software available to third party vendors too.

Calling for fair and just competition in the mainframe market, Roger Bowler, creator and co-founder of TurboHercules, said: “Mainframe customers should be permitted to run the applications and data that they own, and in many cases developed, on the computer hardware of their choice”.

“It is my sincere belief that TurboHercules will contribute to the growth and longevity of the mainframe ecosystem upon which so many depend”, Bowler added.

In a candid rejoinder to the antitrust claims made against it, IBM states that it stuck to mainframe segment when the industry was switching towards distributed and client-server computing domains, and therefore it should be allowed to harvest the benefits.

Our Comments

IBM has already faced with similar complaints in the past and TurboHercules is the latest entrant into the group of the companies demanding for making its popular mainframe operating system available on other companies’ hardware. As for TurboHercules, the name itself reminds us of another era.

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