U.S. software maker files complaint vs IBM with EU

BRUSSELS Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:15pm GMT

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BRUSSELS Dec 18 (Reuters) - Platform Solutions, a privately held software maker involved in a running battle with International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N), has filed a complaint against the U.S. group with the European Commission.

A European Commission spokesman said on Tuesday Platform Solutions had filed its complaint on Oct. 19.

"The complaint alleges that IBM has violated Article 82 of the EC Treaty by refusing to supply interface information relating to mainframe computers and refusing to license third parties", spokesman Jonathan Todd said in a statement.

"The Commission is currently in the preliminary stages of examining the complaint", Todd said.

Article 82 prohibits abuse of dominance and was central to the European Commission's landmark antitrust court victory over Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in September before a European Union court.

It was also used for a major settlement between Brussels and IBM in the 1980s, in which "Big Blue" promised to provide interface information for its mainframes.

The complaint by Platform Solutions is the latest in a tit-for-tat series of legal moves by the two companies.

In December 2006 IBM sued Platform Solutions, charging that the company which manufactures software that can run on IBM's high-end systems violated patents IBM holds on some of its operating systems.

In January this year Platform Solutions countersued, alleging IBM engaged in unfair competition. Platform Solutions also denied it had violated IBM's patents. (Reporting by David Lawsky; Editing by David Holmes)

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