* EU regulators accept IBM's concessions on mainframe
* IBM to supply maintenance firms with necessary parts,
* IBM welcomes conclusion of case
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Dec 14 EU antitrust regulators
accepted concessions offered by International Business Machines
Corp to end an antitrust investigation and avert a
possible fine, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
The U.S. company had in September proposed to provide
certain spare parts and technical information to other companies
which maintain its mainframe hardware and software, under fair
and reasonable terms.
The European Commission said it was satisfied that the
concessions, which were revised after a market test and are
valid for five years, were sufficient to address competition
"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," EU Competition Commissioner
Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
The Commission's decision confirmed what two sources
familiar with the matter had told Reuters last week.
IBM said it was glad the matter had been resolved.
"IBM welcomes this final resolution of the inquiry into
certain IBM mainframe maintenance practices and is pleased that
the Commission's investigation of the IBM mainframe is now
concluded," the company said in a statement.
Many big firms, universities and governments use mainframe
computers to store and process large quantities of data.
This is the second case involving IBM that the European
Commission has wrapped up this year. The EU watchdog closed an
investigation into IBM in August after three small rivals
The Commission, which acts as competition regulator for the
EU and can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global
turnover, has imposed billion-euro fines against technology
firms such as Microsoft and Intel for breaching EU rules.