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EU Launches Antitrust Investigation Against IBM

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the always-bet-on-blue dept.

IBM 135

FlorianMueller writes "The European Commission announced today that it has launched two parallel antitrust investigations into IBM's mainframe practices, following complaints lodged by T3 Technologies last year and French open source startup TurboHercules in March. EU regulators suspect an abuse of a dominant position and illegal tying of IBM's mainframe hardware to its proprietary mainframe operating system z/OS. There's even the possibility of a third case based on a complaint filed very recently by NEON, and the DoJ is also looking into this matter. IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel. This may also affect IBM's credibility when lobbying in the EU for open standards." Reader coondoggie points out a response from IBM saying that the accusations are being driven by Microsoft and other competitors.

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"Credibility" (1, Offtopic)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33034178)

When has there ever been any credibility to corporate lobbying?

Re:"Credibility" (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33035024)

When has there ever been any credibility to corporate lobbying?

It's Big Money.

In related news (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33034190)

Tea Party launches Antichrist investigation against BHO.

Yes, they probably are. (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#33034216)

ibm has been way too chummy with open standards and supported open source initiatives. as per a dastardly lobby group in usa declared recently, open source is harmful to profits. (their). they even equated it with piracy. hence, now, corporations are punishing ibm for being too chummy with open source. talk about mafia.

Imagine that! (4, Funny)

vvaduva (859950) | about 4 years ago | (#33034246)

Wow...a company tying it's software to the hardware they manufactured! Holy crap...who could have imagined!?!

Re:Imagine that! (4, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034416)

Wow...a company tying it's software to the hardware they manufactured! Holy crap...who could have imagined!?!

IBM isn't the only company doing that. But they have a de facto monopoly on mainframes and that's why there's an antitrust issue. It takes a market position that is at least dominant (IBM is even superdominant on mainframes) AND anticompetitive behavior. One of the two isn't enough to make a legal case. I discussed the question of market dominance versus significance in this recent blog posting [blogspot.com] .

Re:Imagine that! (1)

ITBurnout (1845712) | about 4 years ago | (#33034584)

Check your sarcasm detector; I think it might be on the blink. ;)

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035584)

This [slashdot.org] would have made it easier, right?

Re:Imagine that! (4, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 4 years ago | (#33034590)

Thank you. For the /.ers who are (still) unclear about this, having a monopoly is not illegal. IBM is basically the only company left selling mainframes; it's not their fault if everyone else chose to leave what is an incredibly high-risk market that requires oodles of investment. Similarly, tying your hardware to your software is not illegal in itself either (so you can stop clamoring for antitrust litigation against Apple).

What's illegal is abusing a monopoly, you have to have both a dominant market position and anticompetitive activity like software/hardware lock-in before the government has a case. Which I think they do, in this instance.

US centric view of the world (4, Informative)

thbb (200684) | about 4 years ago | (#33036282)

You're talking about US law.

This a EU investigation, and its legal grounding is different. Among others: tying your hardware to your software *is* illegal in EU, as it constitutes a bundled sale. Also, monopolies and oligopoles are under tight surveillance, and the EU can fine them if their margins reach beyond a certain threshold. There are full teams of statisticians who study sales numbers of telcos in EU, and determine what is a "fair" margin they are entitled to make.

This is what we call a "market-driven social economy", where we have managed to insert some of the good ideas of socialism while still relying on the market to allow some form of competition between tightly controlled corporations.

Re:Imagine that! (0, Troll)

Ecuador (740021) | about 4 years ago | (#33036850)

What if you have a monopoly on supercool (not the liquid nitrogen variety) computers? Why is it ok to tie your hardware to your software then?

Re:Imagine that! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33034690)

are you really going to start again florian? You are the only one who has been pushing this hype while citing your own blog.

please go away

Re:Imagine that! (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034850)

You are the only one who has been pushing this hype while citing your own blog.

please go away

I discussed the mainframe antitrust issue here on slashdot when there was significant news: the NEON complaint against IBM, and today's announcement of the European Commission's investigation. I don't think an EU investigation is just "hype". That's very real.

Concerning my blog, I don't think the solution is for slashdot articles to be extremely long. At some point it makes sense to point to more detailed stories for those who care to read them. The source for the fact that the European Commission investigates is the EC's own website -- not my blog.

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035942)

Just use a sock-puppet account. Not that big of a deal.

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33036144)

He does have the point that you pointed to your blog (which will increase page views / popularity / whatever) instead of directing to the original source, of which the only way to get to is through the original blog posting.

To save others the pain, I went to that blog and saw only references to Wikipedia and self-references to other blog posts of yours. Nowhere in that article you wrote did you link to the EC's own website, as you suggest above. While you may have had good intentions, your posts (and your blog) really seem to just be fishing for hits.

For those interested, check out this photo [blogspot.com] . This guy needs a new hair style.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33036840)

many of us are pretty sure that florian's lobbying is beginning to show either a: mission creep or b: that he's willing to compromise his ethics for pay, since everything going on here's end result is an attack on the GPL.

Re:Imagine that! (1, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33036826)

You are tooting your own horn.

"check my blog! I've got great insight!" The source for EC says they're investigating. It doesn't have your spin where you continue to parade that somehow the turbohercules scenario is monopolistic as if IBM should suddenly license the way turbohercules wants just because they ask. That part, is misleading. I guess I should pull up old comments again, where you are clearly the party to this entire scenario. [slashdot.org]

And then we have when you get debunked bigtime [slashdot.org]

get real.

Just like apple. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33034880)

But they have a de facto monopoly on mainframes and that's why there's an antitrust issue.

Just like Apple has a de facto monopoly on iPod's and iPhones. So there's an antitrust issue there, as well.

Re:Just like apple. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 4 years ago | (#33034942)

I believe there were some complaints raised about the dominance of iTunes and the iPod/iPhone.

Re:Imagine that! (2, Interesting)

StormReaver (59959) | about 4 years ago | (#33035112)

It takes a market position that is at least dominant (IBM is even superdominant on mainframes) AND anticompetitive behavior.

While I don't care about mainframes, I hope IBM loses this case for the sole reason that it opens the doors for yet another antitrust action against Microsoft for paying retailers to exclude Linux, and against giant retailers who force Windows onto computer purchasers.

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035722)

i hope IBM loses just because they're royal shits.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 4 years ago | (#33035882)

What makes you think Microsoft pays retailers to exclude Linux? Big box retailers are all about catering to the majority, not the minority. What's worse, Linux distro's go out of date so fast that stock can't keep up. That's why, when you do see Linux on the shelves of those places, it's usually old and out of date, or a distro that isn't revved very frequently.

You're not going to see Linux on computers at BestBuy or whatever for very real logistical reasons, not anyone paying them to exclude it.

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33037330)

But they have a de facto monopoly on mainframes

Ah, a de facto monopoly. What in my country used to be called a Clayton's monopoly, the monopoly you have when you don't have a monopoly.

But seriously, doesn't a free market allow anyone else to build a better mainframe?

Re:Imagine that! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33034666)

Why is there this ever increasing hatred of selling hardware linked with software?

Are cars going to have to untie their monitoring software so anyone can just mod it to do what they want? What about airplanes? Where does it end?

Are companies not allowed to combine ANYTHING with software and then claim a lock down on the software? Is that really where this is headed?

Re:Imagine that! (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034804)

There's enough competition in the market for cars to take care of that problem. But there isn't enough competition for mainframes. There isn't any significant competitive pressure on IBM in that field.

It's not illegal to have a monopoly. It's not illegal to bundle hardware and software. The combination of a dominant market position and abusive conduct is, however, an antitrust violation.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33035150)

Agreed, but what does that have to do with bundling software with hardware? Are you suggesting that people can imply some divide between two parts of the same product and then arbitrarily force a company to comply? Why is software and hardware sold together (both relying on each other) such a bad thing for a company to claim as a single product?

I am NOT arguing for or against the antitrust case, I am pointing out that there is an ever increasing population of people that seem to think every combination of software + hardware sold as a product entitles them to be able to modify the software component and still have the company support the hardware.

There ARE alternatives to mainframes out there. There are alternatives to programming for one. If companies don't like how IBM has been running things (virtually the same way decades, which is to say protectionist) then they should have been thinking of alternatives long ago instead of continually locking themselves into this situation. That old adage of, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." applies nicely here.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33035246)

Agreed, but what does that have to do with bundling software with hardware? Are you suggesting that people can imply some divide between two parts of the same product and then arbitrarily force a company to comply?

Not arbitrarily. There are criteria for that. In the EU, this isn't the first bundling issue: Microsoft was forced to offer Windows in a special version without the MediaPlayer, and last year an investigation concerning browsers was settled with the introduction of a browser choice dialog box. Ironically, IBM itself lobbied against Microsoft in those contexts.

Why is software and hardware sold together (both relying on each other) such a bad thing for a company to claim as a single product?

The bad thing is not to sell it together -- it's if customers who only want one are forced to buy the other as well, especially if one or both of them are market-dominating products.

There ARE alternatives to mainframes out there. There are alternatives to programming for one.

The mainframe business is unique, but especially if you have hugbe amounts of mission-critical legacy code, it's easier said than done that you could rewrite it all for some other system.

If companies don't like how IBM has been running things (virtually the same way decades, which is to say protectionist) then they should have been thinking of alternatives long ago instead of continually locking themselves into this situation. That old adage of, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." applies nicely here.

I believe I understand what you mean here, but there was a time when they didn't really have the choice you may be thinking of, and from an antitrust perspective, imperfect decision-making by customers must (within reason) be considered a market reality. That doesn't give IBM the right to squeeze those customers to no end.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33035544)

Not arbitrarily. There are criteria for that. In the EU, this isn't the first bundling issue: Microsoft was forced to offer Windows in a special version without the MediaPlayer, and last year an investigation concerning browsers was settled with the introduction of a browser choice dialog box. Ironically, IBM itself lobbied against Microsoft in those contexts.

Those are different cases, almost entirely. IBM has always sold their hardware with their OS software and has always dominated mainframes. Likewise, they have never offered them as separate products (at least that I'm aware of). Microsoft, once in a dominant position, used every dirty tactic to block out attacks on that dominance by tying a version of competing software with their dominant OS, bundling it for "free", and then squashing any hopes at profit by someone else. They took previously separate products and tied them tightly into their operating system and THEN claimed they couldn't remove them without breaking the OS.

The bad thing is not to sell it together -- it's if customers who only want one are forced to buy the other as well, especially if one or both of them are market-dominating products.

If both together is the product then why SHOULD a customer be able to buy one and not the other? Can you could walk into an auto dealership and buy half a car that was already whole? If they say no are you somehow entitled to be able to make your arbitrary purchase? Can I walk into a grocery store and say I want to buy a product but not its packaging? I can, but they don't have to sell it to me. So why in this case should any company selling software + hardware be forced sell them separately?

The mainframe business is unique, but especially if you have hugbe amounts of mission-critical legacy code, it's easier said than done that you could rewrite it all for some other system.

It is anything but unique. Companies have lived and died buy their technology choices as long as there has been technology. This is not an excuse to force a company to split their product in half and sell you only the half you want.

I believe I understand what you mean here, but there was a time when they didn't really have the choice you may be thinking of, and from an antitrust perspective, imperfect decision-making by customers must (within reason) be considered a market reality. That doesn't give IBM the right to squeeze those customers to no end.

I agree that squeezing customers should be frowned upon, but seriously, companies putting all of their eggs into one basket need to face the consequences when that basket is dropped. IBM has been doing the same crap for DECADES. This is not a recent development and any company claiming otherwise is as blind as their product choice.

Re:Imagine that! (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33035690)

IBM stopped bundling hardware and software in 1969. z/OS is a separate product from the hardware. You do not get a copy of z/OS when you buy a zSeries machine. You can run any OS on it you wish. That includes z/OS, Linux, z/VM, z/VSE, and OpenSolaris. However, if you want to run z/OS, then you DO need a zSeries machine, as that is the only way it is licensed. TH would like IBM to license z/OS to run on their emulator. But, there is a problem - IBM believes the TH emulator infringes on over 100 of it's hardware and architecture patents, and therefore will not license z/OS to run on it.

Re:Imagine that! (2, Interesting)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33035932)

Is IBM preventing people from writing/porting an OS for/to their zSeries machines?

What it boils down to is that people don't want to buy IBM's expensive hardware (which subsidizes their software investment) but still want to buy their software? Did Steve Jobs ever work for IBM?

But seriously, the sell the hardware with your choice of supported operating systems, some at additional cost. I'm not sure how that supports someone's "right" to run the OS on any hardware platform they choose (via emulation or any other means).

Re:Imagine that! (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33036046)

You are correct - IBM is not preventing anyone from running what they want on their hardware. For some reason unfathomable to me, MS seems to think they do have the right to force IBM to license their software for use on other hardware.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#33036442)

The problem is you believe this is to help costumers directly. It's not. This is designed to help competing companies.
Of course, costumers will benefit indirectly from the increase in competition, but they're not the primary beneficiary by the measure.

Re:Imagine that! (2, Interesting)

Smauler (915644) | about 4 years ago | (#33035424)

A monopolistic hardware company can destroy other software companies with lockins... There's not a problem at the moment with Apple, for example, since they do not hold a dominant market share. Laissez faire capitalism does _not_ work, the government has to be on hand to whack down the big corporations every so often. At least, that's the theory.

Re:Imagine that! (2, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33035502)

This is not about 'bundling' of hardware and software (IBM stopped doing that more than 40 years ago). This is about an operating system (z/OS), which is a product IBM sells. z/OS runs only on z/Architecture machines. Currently, there is one manufacturer of z/Architecture machines - IBM. Therefore, if you want to run z/OS, you must have an IBM mainframe. Microsoft (through TurboHercules) is complaining that IBM is abusing it's position by not licensing z/OS to be run on TurboHercules' emulator. However, they only want IBM to change it's behavior, they don't want to play by the same rules. In particular, they see nothing wrong with the fact that TH infringes IBM patents, and IBM therefore does not recognize them as a legitimate competitor.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33035598)

So how is selling a software product that only runs on your hardware product not the same as bundling hardware with software?

Re:Imagine that! (2, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33035808)

Bundling is putting two things together in one package. You do not need z/OS to run a mainframe - you can use Linux, z/VM, OpenSolaris, or z/VSE. You do need a zSeries machine to run z/OS, but the license can be transferred to a different machine. The two products (hardware and software) are sold separately. If a legitimate competitor (ie. one that licenses IBM IP) arose, IBM may very well license z/OS to be run on that hardware. No such competitor currently exists.

Re:Imagine that! (1)

makomk (752139) | about 4 years ago | (#33037458)

No, it's bundling. IBM are selling one product (z/OS) on the condition that it only be used together with another of their products (their zMachines), and many of their customers are in a position where non-IBM hardware would be a better solution if it wasn't for the fact that IBM won't license z/OS for it and they're dependant on z/OS. The patents are just another way of tying z/OS to IBM hardware; there's superior ways to do much of what they cover, but IBM have designed z/OS so that if you want to run it you have to infringe them. It's hardly the first anti-competitive use of patents in the computer industry.

Re:Imagine that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035636)

I wonder when a case will open up against Apple for only allowing there OS on iphones?

Re:Imagine that! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#33036480)

Apple doesn't have a de-facto monopoly over the smartphones market.

Groklaw (4, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 4 years ago | (#33034268)

Here is some facts and opinion from Groklaw, at least on the TurboHercules part.

Groklaw [groklaw.net]
Digging a Little Deeper into TurboHercules/IBM - OpenMainframe.org and Microsoft

Despite the fact that PJ probably has a few blinders at work when opining on IBM I believe this to be relevant considering
Florian's seemingly diametrically opposed (to PJ's that is) opinions on IBM...

Re:Groklaw (0, Troll)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034756)

The fact that the European Commission has opened an investigation shows that there are serious issues involved. The launch of the investigation isn't a final ruling, but that type of decision isn't taken unless there's a lot of hard facts on the table.

So, as a minor side effect, today's announcement calls into question the accurancy and relevance of the things PJ claimed. She made TurboHercules out to be unreasonable. But TurboHercules just asked IBM for something that's in the interest of competition and innovation, and if the Commission viewed it differently (or if the Commission viewed this as simply a Microsoft initiative), the full-blown investigation wouldn't have been launched today.

Re:Groklaw (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33034834)

Not true. An investigation is what happens when enough competitors force the issue. It doesn't mean they think anything is wrong, just that they will look into the complaints. Here's the EU Commission press release says exactly that: "The initiation of proceedings does not imply that the Commission has proof of infringements. It only signifies that the Commission will further investigate the cases as a matter of priority."

You are so full of it, Florian.

Re:Groklaw (2, Insightful)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | about 4 years ago | (#33035634)

What a troll. Seriously. There is not just one manufacturer that makes mainframes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainframe_computer [wikipedia.org]

Market

IBM mainframes dominate the mainframe market at well over 90% market share.[6] Unisys manufactures ClearPath mainframes, based on earlier Sperry and Burroughs product lines. In 2002, Hitachi co-developed the zSeries z800 with IBM to share expenses, but subsequently the two companies have not collaborated on new Hitachi models. Hewlett-Packard sells its unique NonStop systems, which it acquired with Tandem Computers and which some analysts classify as mainframes. Groupe Bull's DPS, Fujitsu (formerly Siemens) BS2000, and Fujitsu-ICL VME mainframes are still available in Europe. Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC (the "JCMs") still maintain nominal mainframe hardware businesses in their home Japanese market, although they have been slow to introduce new hardware models in recent years. The amount of vendor investment in mainframe development varies with marketshare. Unisys, HP, Groupe Bull, Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC now rely primarily on commodity Intel CPUs rather than custom processors in order to reduce their development expenses, and they have also cut back their mainframe software development. (However, Unisys still maintains its own unique CMOS processor design development for certain high-end ClearPath models but contracts chip manufacturing to IBM.) In stark contrast, IBM continues to pursue a different business strategy of mainframe investment and growth. IBM has its own large research and development organization designing new, homegrown CPUs, including mainframe processors such as 2008's 4.4 GHz quad-core z10 mainframe microprocessor. IBM is rapidly expanding its software business, including its mainframe software portfolio, to seek additional revenue and profits.[7][8]

Quit being a hypocrite and go after every mainframe manufacturer. And yes, I am calling you a hypocrite and a troll.
Nor does IBM force you to use a specific operating system. From the IBM web site of all places. http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/ [ibm.com]

Linux on System z Show descriptions | Hide descriptions Featured topic Increasing economics for server consolidation Linux and z/VM benefit from the enormous improvements of the IBM zEnterprise 196 server capabilities in the areas of consolidation, security, reliability and disaster recovery. You can "do even more with less". 10 Years Linux on IBM System z For the last decade, clients around the world have benefited from the strengths of Linux on System z. Learn more about Linux on System z

I don't see companies like Apple advertising the fact, and also offering to help install other operating systems on their hardware.

Show me in witting, on the IBM web site, where their software can not be run on mainframes built by other manufacturers. I don't want your blog, I want IBM official restrictions. Otherwise, your a troll. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Groklaw (0, Troll)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33035780)

Show me in witting, on the IBM web site, where their software can not be run on mainframes built by other manufacturers. I don't want your blog, I want IBM official restrictions. Otherwise, your a troll. Nothing more, nothing less.

Read the European Commission's press release. You can be sure they read the z/OS licensing terms, and they have the expertise to interpret those.

Re:Groklaw (1)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | about 4 years ago | (#33036290)

Please provide evidence that these type of restrictions are being placed on the other mainframe manufacturers. Please note where they have been reviewed also. Each mainframe manufacturer has its own restrictive licensing terms.

Re:Groklaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33037132)

I don't see companies like Apple advertising the fact, and also offering to help install other operating systems on their hardware.

Apple bundles the OS, IBM does not. When you order a Mac you get the OS for "free" (gratis); if you order a mainframe you still have to order the OS (a separate charge and line item). The accusation is that IBM is doing an illegal monopolistic action by not allowing someone to only purchase the OS and run it on non-IBM hardware.

The issue at hand is the licensing of the OS, not the hardware. With Apple the legal point is different because (AFAICT; IANAL) you're purchasing the hardware and the OS is bundled. No such bundling exists with IBM.

Of course if you don't want to use the gratis copy of Mac OS X you got with your hardware, that's no problem for Apple.

Re:Groklaw (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33034768)

blinders on how? PJ is a paralegal and has no ties to IBM whatsoever.

Florian is doing nothing but spin lately. I debunked him before on this article and if he tries this again, I'll debunk him again. We don't need his spin on slashdot.

Re:Groklaw (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 4 years ago | (#33035058)

OK, poor choice of words. I completely agree that PJ is impartial and focuses more on facts then anything else. But not everyone sees it that way and given the exact opposite nature of Florian's stance on the issue I was trying to present Groklaw as an opposing opinion. At this point I'm open to either side's opinion on the matter until we see the case move along but I agree it is difficult to take Florian seriously when he seems to be simply using this news to further promote his blog...

Re:Groklaw (0, Flamebait)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33035294)

OK, poor choice of words. I completely agree that PJ is impartial and focuses more on facts then anything else.

Do you think her presumed impartiality is corroborated by the fact that during all those years she never criticized anything IBM did, other than disagreeing with them on whether there should be software patents? That she claims to be against software patents but wrote that IBM is free to sue the pants off TurboHercules with patents? It's at the very least conspicuous that she's more loyal to IBM than Rush Limbaugh to the Republican Party.

Re:Groklaw (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33036724)

That's the biggest stretch I have ever seen. Where do you come up with this? Just because someone isn't complaining about something doesn't mean the openly support it.

Oh wait. Hey, Florian, you never say anything bad about terrorism. You must support it!

That's how off base your concept is. People can be against software patents while acknowledging contracts, which is something you clearly are forgetting. If Turbohercules causes a stir, it's going to hurt open source and be very pro software patents, actually.

Your view is narrower than a thread through a needle, and I hope you realize that someday.

Where's the actual debunking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33036152)

> blinders on how?

Well, she has censored certain facts (and anyone who tried to discuss them on Groklaw). Like when she deleted a post showing that Red Hat is a CCIA member, or the PDF to text of the four letters between TH and IBM (formerly available as the parent of this post [groklaw.net] , but that link will just give you a blank page). Somehow, she STILL makes it out that TH brought this upon themselves when IBM FUDed them in letter 2 by raising the specter of Hercules itself being an "infringing platform", when all TH had asked prior to that was if it was possible to do business with them. But letters 3 and 4 came out first, so it's understandable that many people are confused.

Then she has an awful lot of hate for Florian personally and anyone else who tries to correct her. In fact, she's downright nasty when she disagrees. That's how AllParadox left [yahoo.com] . Nobody is free to disagree with her. You can be polite and well-mannered as you wish. You can cite facts and sources. But she'll just disappear them if she disagrees. And she's removed more than a few accounts, like on this story [groklaw.net] , where you can see that she would delete the account of someone who is only trying to help. Ask yourself: if that person was really a troll, why would they be contributing to Groklaw? Exactly what did their account get deleted for? Can you imagine the people who post Goatse here turning over a new leaf and deciding to help the site? But Slashdot uses transparent moderation: you know if you're at -1 or not. But you won't even know you've been moderated on Groklaw unless you know how her invisible moderation works: I can still see my own posts, but nobody else can (unless they replied before I got vanished). You have to use a proxy or something to see if your posts still exist.

That would be great if she were moderating the Goatse guy out of existence. But exactly why is it necessary to vanish someone who gives citations proving that many of her facts are in error? Shouldn't Groklaw post ALL the facts? And AllParadox isn't the only person to question her censorship of people merely for disagreeing [linux-blog.org] .

This isn't new. It's been going on for ages. Plenty Groklaw supporters [slashdot.org] have gotten fed up. Or are you going to accuse several people who have written for Groklaw, moderated for Groklaw, and promoted Groklaw on Slashdot of all being anti-Groklaw trolls?

That's what she does, right? The only way someone could disagree with her is if they were paid to or if they're trolling, at least in her mind. Never mind the fact that I can find plenty of people who have worked closely with her only to get fed up. Yeah, I knew her. Her real email (past the filter) is pj2@groklaw.net (she can change it again if she wants to).

But I guess she can call all this "trolling." As we all know, anyone who disagrees with her is a troll. It doesn't matter how much they try to cite their sources or argue that something is a mistake. No, if they disagree, they're clearly being paid by someone or something or question her. But it's always okay when she speculates wildly about people's motives.

Just for the record, lest people accuse me of holding all sorts of beliefs that I do not hold, I say that Darl & SCO can die in a fire as far as I'm concerned. I believe that PJ is a real person (a retired paralegal in Connecticut, if I'm not mistaken), not an IBM lawyer.

> Florian is doing nothing but spin lately. I debunked him before on this article and if he tries this again, I'll debunk him again. We don't need his spin on slashdot.

Anyhow... aren't you sick of this yet? Every time Florian posts, you post something to the effect of "you suck! go away!" You talk about "debunking" him, but I can't find where you've posted anything of the sort. The ONLY other post from you in this article says "please go away." Does that qualify as "debunking" now? Or are you planning to post something later? I double-checked your user page, just to make sure I didn't miss one. There's only Re:Groklaw [slashdot.org] and Re:Imagine that! [slashdot.org]

So, please go away. I'm sick of zero-content hate posts where you hate on a person, but can't be bothered to explain (or even link to!) an actual argument about why that person is wrong. I've just cited several examples of where PJ has moderated inconvenient facts off of Groklaw and at least three people, each of whom helped Groklaw in a significant way, who were driven away.

But you? You reply to every post by Florian with something like "go away, you've been debunked" (both here and on prior stories) ... without bothering to even explain where, when or by whom. You cite no sources. You haven't given any argument, only abuse.

In short, why should anyone believe you?

Re:Where's the actual debunking? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33036760)

In short, why should anyone believe you?

because I don't post anonymously with a whole lot of spin.

My old comments were on the last article re: florian mueller. go pull it up yourself, and don't think I'm going to waste my time on an AC for that.

Re:Groklaw (1)

makomk (752139) | about 4 years ago | (#33037566)

Doesn't matter. PJ's obviously not neutral on IBM, no matter who she is, and neither are various /. commenters. For example, when Microsoft make legal threats against commercial distributors of Linux over patent infringement related to interoperability, that's an attack on Linux and on open source software. However, when IBM made legal threats against a commercial distributor of Hercules over patent infringement related to interoperability, that's somehow not an attack on Hercules itself because the company is a separate commercial organization, and anyone claiming otherwise must be a troll or a pro-Microsoft shill.

Likewise, it's OK for IBM and other large companies to be heavily involved in anti-trust related actions against Microsoft and other such activities, and anyone claiming that makes said actions suspect or the puppets of IBM or Sun is a troll. On the other hand, the slightest tenuous and dubious link between Microsoft and any similar action against IBM is a sign that the whole thing is a Microsoft conspiracy.

Reminds me of IBM's long history of anti-trust (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about 4 years ago | (#33034286)

Reminds me of IBM's long history of trouble with US anti-trust.

Since when does Microsoft own the EU Commission? (0, Flamebait)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034358)

Diversion is not a defense -- especially if it doesn't make sense.

Microsoft had to pay the highest antitrust fine in EU history and was pursued over three antitrust issues in recent years (MediaPlayer, Samba, browsers; MediaPlayer and Samba were one case but with two distinct parts). It doesn't look like the Commission does Microsoft's bidding ;-)

The Commission's press release also mentions an issue about maintenance. No company whatsoever filed a complaint about that. But the Commission, probably because it looked into the mainframe market as a whole as a result of those different complaints, apparently determined that there's a problem that needs further scrutiny.

Hercules is an 11-year old open source project. Did Microsoft start that one back in 1999 in order to hurt IBM a decade later?

There's also the NEON complaint. NEON's principal founder is a billionaire and former co-founder of BMC, a big enterprise/mainframe software company.

The bottom line is that IBM will have to address the concerns identified -- on substance, not on the basis of conspiracy theories.

Re:Since when does Microsoft own the EU Commission (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035006)

The company filing this complaint is not open source. That's not being truthful, pretending it's the open source project asking for the license. It's not. It's Turbo Hercules.

Florian, you need to be more careful in your speech, or more honest, whatever the problem may be. And I'd like to ask you a question, and you should answer it honestly: is Microsoft paying you to do this? Microsoft or a "satellite proxy"? Tell us.

Re:Since when does Microsoft own the EU Commission (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about 4 years ago | (#33035378)

But IBM's reply to the complaint strikes squarely at the open source project, because TurboHercules uses the Hercules open source project's code with no modifications. If TurboHercules violates IBM's intellectual property (specifically its patents), then so must the open source project.

And no, Microsoft's not paying me, either directly or indirectly. Not even Steve Ballmer's third cousin.

Does this apply to Apple? (3, Interesting)

thetagger (1057066) | about 4 years ago | (#33034366)

If IBM can't disallow the use of z/OS under an emulator, does it also mean that Apple can't disallow OS X on Hackintoshes?

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33034400)

Probably not, since Apple does not have the kind of market share in the PC market that IBM has in the mainframe market. Last I checked, something like 90% of mainframes were IBM, versus something like 6% of PCs being Apple products.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

stevesliva (648202) | about 4 years ago | (#33035148)

Probably not, since Apple does not have the kind of market share in the PC market that IBM has in the mainframe market. Last I checked, something like 90% of mainframes were IBM, versus something like 6% of PCs being Apple products.

Yes, but only something like 0.00006% of servers are mainframes.

If you're going to pretend Apples and PCs are interchangeable, you can depend on the fact that the same sort of substitute goods comparison will occur to IBM.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (2, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about 4 years ago | (#33035510)

If you're going to pretend Apples and PCs are interchangeable

They are for most people - they do exactly the same job. On the one hand, PC's can play just about all current games and applications, on the other Macs emit an aura of smug. YMMV, but they are essentially interchangeable.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33037264)

Sorry, but I have not swallowed Apple's marketing campaign hook, line, and sinker. Apple produces personal computers, which have always been a part of the PC market. There is not a separate "Macintosh" market, and most of Apple's product lines do not fall into the category of "workstations," if you wanted to claim there is a separate "workstation market." Mainframes, on the other hand, are quite clearly in a different market than other server computers -- they include features that is not even relevant for typical servers (i.e. the ability to replace a motherboard without interrupting service, the ability to execute instructions on two processors at the same time to reduce the chances of erroneous results, etc.); the difference is as clear as the difference between the server market and the PC market. True, a mainframe can be replaced with a couple hundred servers, but I can say the same about replacing a server with a desktop, or perhaps a hammer and a screwdriver.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33034450)

As an alternative question, who would really want to "steal" z/OS anyway. Does it even run on anything other an an IBM mainframe? And if you have the money for the hardware, chances are you want the software... or maybe Linux. I don't have any mainframe experience, so I'm not sure, however now that Macs are basically just expensive PCs and there is a reasonable success rate getting OS X to run on non-branded hardware, the Apple situation seems different. On the other hand, Apple also doesn't care if you don't run OS X on your Mac, so long as you buy the Mac.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33034524)

It runs on an emulator, and an organization that wants to continue running its older mainframe software on non-mainframe hardware may want to use such an emulator.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034548)

As an alternative question, who would really want to "steal" z/OS anyway.

TurboHercules just asked for a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing offer. In other words, customers should pay for it. They just shouldn't be forced to run it exclusively on IBM hardware.

Does it even run on anything other an an IBM mainframe?

Yes. Emulation is the answer.

And if you have the money for the hardware, chances are you want the software... or maybe Linux.

You can run GNU/Linux on a mainframe, it's called z/Linux. However, if you have mission-critical programs running on z/OS, you're locked in right now and porting is easier said than done. There are estimates that a couple hundred billion lines of legacy code is still in use on mainframes (by banks, insurance companies, social security, etc.).

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33034898)

What kind of idiot who is in charge of IT at a bank, insurance company, social security, etc would move from a fully-supported, high-performance, 5-9s available, EAL5-certified mainframe to a non-supported (by IBM) dog of an emulated system running on commodity hardware and Windows?

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 4 years ago | (#33036018)

If you have one or two software mainframe software packages, and don't need 5 9s, TurboHercules [sun.com] is much cheaper than the low end mainframes that IBM offers.

Lehemann claims that it's "Moore's Law in Action".

IBM has also fought to keep zPrime's mainframe accelerator [theregister.co.uk] off the market.

There's a market for consistently reliable computers, but I don't think it's quite as large as the mainframe market.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33036174)

zPrime's 'accelerator' is nothing more than a hack to allow IBM (and ISV) software to run on processors for which it is not licensed.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

afabbro (33948) | about 4 years ago | (#33034946)

however now that Macs are basically just expensive PCs

I guess I missed the time when Macs were something other than just expensive personal computers. Was there a time when they were calculators or basketball hoops? Or perhaps you're misusing the term personal computer...

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33035190)

"PC" as in "IBM Compatible" as in "Wintel" as in not a PPC-based system.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | about 4 years ago | (#33034496)

If IBM can't disallow the use of z/OS under an emulator, does it also mean that Apple can't disallow OS X on Hackintoshes?

You already got a pretty accurate answer from 'betterunixthanunix' about market share. I also explained that on a different branch of this discussion tree, here [slashdot.org] . Concerning Apple, they may be affected by a different EU initiative [slashdot.org] further down the road.

Re:Does this apply to Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33037234)

If IBM can't disallow the use of z/OS under an emulator, does it also mean that Apple can't disallow OS X on Hackintoshes?

IBM does not bundle the OS, Apple does (i.e., you get Mac OS X for free/gratis when you purchase a Mac). I think this bundling point is what makes things difference in legal terms.

This is also why upgrades for iPhones are "free": the revenue for the device is booked over multiple quarters (i.e., you buy the hardware and get iOS gratis). With Macs, the revenue is booked in one quarter, and so future OS functionality has to be paid for by a nominal upgrade fee (these rules on revenue flow were introduced post-Enron).

The meat: do patents trump interoperability? (2, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#33034500)

Finally, we get to the interesting part of TurboHercules v. IBM:

There's an antitrust dispute, with TurboHercules saying that IBM is abusing a dominant market position. That's normal. The cool part in this case is that IBM has mentioned that they have a pile of software patents.

That means that if the European institutions (commission and court of justice) decide that IBM has to allow interoperability, they should also have to decide if IBM can subsequently use their mentioned software patents to block that required interoperability.

It sounds like a no-brainer. Of course they should be allowed to use patents to negate court-imposed requirements. But it's not a no-brainer: It didn't work in the US, and it didn't work previously in the EU.

typo: should - shouldn't (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#33034806)

> Of course they should be allowed to use patents to negate court-imposed requirements.

Typing too fast, I forgot the "n't" from "shouldn't". I'm sure that was obvious anyway.

The previous US and EU cases I mentioned are EU v. Microsoft (about Samba), and US FTC v. Rambus. In both cases, there was clear abusive practices, but we didn't get a statement in either case about MS or Rambus being prevented from using their patents later to prevent competition. In the EU, it looked like we'd win, but the closing statements by Neelie Kroes left the door open for MS.

"IBM now finds itself in a situation ..." (5, Informative)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 4 years ago | (#33034546)

"IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel."

How fast we forgot! Or maybe it's that you young uns never knew...IBM wrote the book on fighting and defeating anti-trust actions by not winning in court, but winning in the market place. Check out what happened 1956 and 1969, and how those events made IBM stronger, not weaker.

Previous situation? (2, Insightful)

MaggieL (10193) | about 4 years ago | (#33034580)

"IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by Microsoft and Intel."

  Actually, IBM now finds itself in a situation previously experienced by IBM, too.

The EU does it again (0, Flamebait)

euroq (1818100) | about 4 years ago | (#33034608)

The European Union loves taking money from foreign rich corporations. Microsoft, Intel, etc. They'll just come up with a price tag in the billion dollars to help them pay for their austerity bills.

Re:The EU does it again (1)

polar red (215081) | about 4 years ago | (#33034820)

The European Union loves protecting its citizens from rich corporations (foreign or otherwise). They'll just come up with a price tag in the billion euro's to help them paying for the banking crisis.

Re:The EU does it again (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33034904)

So when monopolies use abusive business practices in the eu, they should be thanked and sent on their way?

I'm trying to see what you're getting at here.

Re:The EU does it again (1, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 4 years ago | (#33035038)

An abusive business practice is an undocumented clause in your credit card contract that bumps your rate to 29% if you're 2 days late with a payment. An abusive business practice is buying up all the power companies in a state and increasing prices 50% (if this were allowed).

Creating a product and dictating the price for the product and creating contractual requirements for the product is not an abusive business practice unless you're a blathering corporation hater, which I understand is trendy these days.

Applying antitrust law to something someone creates from nothing is a joke. It should be applied to physically limited resources and government granted monopolies only.

No matter how many companies the EU sues, it's not going to help them avoid the catastrophe they're heading towards with a declining population growth and laughably unsustainable social policies and spending. Their anti-business leanings are certainly going to accelerate their collapse.

Re:The EU does it again (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 4 years ago | (#33035674)

Creating a product and dictating the price for the product and creating contractual requirements for the product is not an abusive business practice unless you're a blathering corporation hater, which I understand is trendy these days.

It most definitely can be abusive... This is not about corporations vs "the people", this is about corporations vs corporations. The EU is trying to maintain a non-monopolistic economy, and you're portraying it as anti-corporation - it is in fact the reverse, the EU wants to foster a thriving competetive marketplace.

No matter how many companies the EU sues, it's not going to help them avoid the catastrophe they're heading towards with a declining population growth and laughably unsustainable social policies and spending. Their anti-business leanings are certainly going to accelerate their collapse.

The EU is not suing anyone... that word doesn't mean what you think it means. The EU can fine companies for breaches of EU law funnily enough, which is what they are possibly doing now. Spending policies are a different matter, and countries in the EU are addressing many of the difficulties caused by previous overspending now.

Re:The EU does it again (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 4 years ago | (#33035714)

The EU is not suing anyone... that word doesn't mean what you think it means.

You're correct, of course. A "suit" would imply IBM (or whoever) actually had an opportunity to defend themselves, and an impartial judge made the decision.

So I will gratefully accept your correction, and replace it with "extorts".

Re:The EU does it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035552)

They do it to Europeans too, I guess it just does not make the headlines there (we get news line this regarding European corporations several times a year).

Re:The EU does it again (1)

dafoomie (521507) | about 4 years ago | (#33035614)

Maybe next they'll go after Coca-Cola for bundling their bottle and can hardware with proprietary liquids.

Re:The EU does it again (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 4 years ago | (#33036498)

lol...

IBM mainframe anti-trust allegations? (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | about 4 years ago | (#33034692)

It looks like someone's been fiddling with the wayback machine again. In other news, the government bailout of the buggy-whip industry is costing the taxpayers BILLIONS!

Getting a little crazy, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33034794)

Normally, I side with the smaller companies when it comes to antitrust issues, having come out of the US Telecom industry... However, if they sue IBM for tying hardware and software together... they need to also sue Apple, Playstation, HTC, Microsoft (XBox), Nintendo, and any other hardware vendor that also supplies required software, or any software provider that requires specific hardware for their system.

Way to get a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33034814)

Since they're also a customer, they can finally get some of their wasted money back! Brilliant! Seriously, IBM products are WAY overpriced.

Re:Way to get a refund (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 4 years ago | (#33034964)

Way overpriced by what criteria?

Re:Way to get a refund (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 4 years ago | (#33036608)

Since they're also a customer, they can finally get some of their wasted money back! Brilliant! Seriously, IBM products are WAY overpriced.

Then don't buy their products. If you think they're way overpriced, what type of crazy says it's OK to steal (fine) one billion dollars from them?

IBM? Anti-Trust? Microsoft files charges against? (-1, Flamebait)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 4 years ago | (#33034960)

So let me get this straight, Microsoft files anti-trust charges against IBM in the EU? The same Microsoft the EU accuses of anti-trust and forced them to make "N" versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7?

Our could it be the real reason is that the EU wants to punish IBM because they are accused of selling IBM Mainframes and technology to the Nazis and Hitler during or before WWII that allowed them to run the holocaust more efficiently and tattoos of bar codes or numbers was used to track people targeted for death? [ibmandtheholocaust.com] That is why Neo-Nazis, Skinheads, and other white supremacist groups use IBM OS/2 and refuse to use Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc. :) OS/2 is the type of operating system Hitler himself would write if he was smart enough and had the knowledge and skill sets to do it. But based on further research I found out I was wrong and that Windows 7 is the true OS that Hitler would write. [xkcd.com]

Anyway before he had his plane crash that made him lose his memories and almost die, Steve Wozniak of Apple Computers was once quoted as having said "Never trust a computer you cannot throw out a window."

Look if Microsoft claims IBM competes with them and violates EU law, then why don't Microsoft develop their own Mainframe and then port Windows 7 or whatever to it and then see how well that sells? Maybe people would rather use IBM Mainframes and zOS, oh because it is better, faster, more stable, and has no known viruses that can infect it, plus it can run Linux in virtual machines if needed which is why IBM makes contributions to Linux and other FOSS software projects like Mozilla, etc.

Remember that SCO vs. IBM for Linux having SCO Unix code in it? Microsoft was behind that as well. The code they used in court was Minix code and not Linux code but once the judge figured that out and they got the real Linux code, well we discovered the truth, eh?

Besides in the EU, the Amiga [amiga.org] is a much better system than a PC running Windows 7, amiright Amiga Fanbois and Fangurls? Apple's Mac and PC guys meet the Amiga Lady, and it literally blows their minds and heads at how much better the Amiga is than the Mac and PC. [youtube.com] Amiga fans, we are back, and we are p*ssed!

Re:IBM? Anti-Trust? Microsoft files charges agains (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#33035702)

OS/2 is the type of operating system Hitler himself would write if he was smart enough and had the knowledge and skill sets to do it.

Yo. I've heard lots of criticism about IBM's ill-fated OS/2 . . . but this one is a real gemstone. The has to be the biggest power-slam Godwin that has ever graced the Internet.

Actually, Hitler didn't do much himself . . . he ordered other folks to do stuff that he wanted done. Like, Albert Speer, who built up the war industry. And Werner von Braun and his rockets. Or Konrad Zuse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Zuse [wikipedia.org] ), who actually did build a computer in Germany during World War II.

So, I don't think there's any point on speculating on what the Führer's operating system would look like.

Although, I do know what his cats looked like: http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl [catsthatlo...hitler.com]

Another point that comes to mind . . . Gordon Letwin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Letwin) of Microsoft did a lot of the groundwork for OS/2. I've heard that he was a real onery chap to deal with . . . so maybe there is something to your theory.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33036060)

wat

Forward thinking? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33035116)

This is the same company that said personal computers wouldn't take off. They made 250,000 PCs, just enough to cover the 2 million orders.

Re:Forward thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33036314)

What the mind can conceive, the body can acheive.

Maybe you could achieve proper spelling if you thought about it.

Hope Oracle muddies the waters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33035804)

..as a return favour.

Hate your cake and force it (on others) too! (1)

awrz (1009247) | about 4 years ago | (#33035814)

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/64143 [networkworld.com]

Companies decry government regulation and restrictions on the free market, and yet at the same time use those exact same "tools" of restrictions to subvert each other.

Maybe that's free market at it's best? Using all tools at your disposal. Sure makes things messy though, doesn't it?

I can't say IBM's finger pointing at Microsoft is terribly surprising though...

Like Apple (0, Offtopic)

4pins (858270) | about 4 years ago | (#33035896)

"EU regulators suspect an abuse of a dominant position and illegal tying of IBM's mainframe hardware to its proprietary mainframe operating system z/OS."

"Like Macintosh and OSX?"

"Like the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and iOS?"

Given the results, I find it hard to see why this is bad.

Off topic but when will they go after Ebay? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 4 years ago | (#33036900)

Whenever I see these anti-trust probes I can't but wonder why nobody cares about what I see as a textbook case of monopoly abuse.
Ebay has a definite monopoly on online auctions and they use it to push paypal down our throats (claiming not even Google checkout is safe...)

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