Settlement Reached Between IBM and EC; End of Anti-Trust Investigation

IBM has reached a settlement with the European Commission over an anti-trust investigation in its mainframe business.

The EC announced it had accepted concessions offered by IBM to end the anti-trust probe and prevent the EC from imposing a hefty fine, as the EC has the power to fine companies up to 10 percent of their annual turnovers if they are found using anti-trust practices, Reuters reports.

The company agreed to provide access to spare parts and technical information related to its mainframe systems to businesses which offer support services for them. The EC said the concessions proposed by IBM were revised after it had conducted a market test and were valid for the next five years.

"I am pleased that we could find a swift solution with IBM to our competition concerns. Timely interventions are crucial in fast-moving technology markets," said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in a statement.

The EC started an anti-trust probe against IBM after it came to its attention that the company might be using anti-trust practices to prevent service companies from competing against it in the main frame service market.