Global CIO: IBM Attacked By EU Anti-Capitalists & IT Washouts - InformationWeek
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Global CIO: IBM Attacked By EU Anti-Capitalists & IT Washouts

Two tiny makers of mainframe knockoffs are joining forces with the always-eager EU to try to browbeat IBM into unearned submission.

Call it "The Attack of the Ankle-Biters!"

The European Union's anti-competition cabal, which has begun to specialize in running paralyzing shake-down scams on successful American IT companies, to death, has joined forces with two never-were players in the mainframe space that are trying to gain through intimidation what they could not win through competition.

The two companies are trying to convince the EU's parity-lovers to force IBM to offer its highly complex, sophisticated, and expensive mainframe software on the knock-off hardware made by the two companies.

These two wanna-be freeloaders claim it's just not fair for IBM to be able to withhold from them its zOS operating system. They feel that just because they have made knockoff versions of IBM mainframe hardware that is supposedly capable of running IBM mainframe software, then IBM should be compelled—at the tip of a European spear, no less—to have the same access to that incredibly precious asset that IBM has.

Well if that's how it works, then I have an idea: I should start Bob's Hot Rod Shop and build low-brow automobile exteriors into which I'll put Porsche's brilliantly engineered and built engines and transmissions and drive trains and suspensions.

Hey, why the heck not? Why should Porsche be able to prevent me from taking its most-prized assets from them? After all, they make exteriors and I make exteriors; but they also make the guts of the car and I don't, and that's not fair. So, Porsche should be compelled to level this playing field and give me the stuff on which it has built its business, its brand, its reputation with customers, its IP, and its soul.

This is particularly ugly in its own right, but even more so when these knock-off "victims" get matched up on the waltz floor with the hoity-toities of the EU, who last year arrogantly and maliciously dragged out their "evaluation" of Oracle's acquisition of Sun for 9 months, costing thousands of Sun employees their jobs and Oracle hundreds of millions of dollars in losses via Sun's EU-created lame-duck status.

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All the while, the EU grandees did what they do best: turn up the heat for a pricey settlement--they extorted $1.5 billion from Intel—and then joked and laughed about their cleverness! (See Global CIO: Oracle's EU Nemesis Mocked Intel After $1.5 Billion Fine.)

My colleague Paul McDougall lays out the facts in his insightful news story here, but I'd like to share a little context for my assertion above that the EU's got it in for powerful U.S.-based businesses. Take a look at this list of some of the recent, uh, engagements that trifling bunch of busybodies has had with successful and ambitious American tech companies:

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