Justice Department Agrees to Terminate Last Provisions of IBM Consent Decree in Stages Ending 5 years From Today
Termination Due to Change in Computer Climate
July 2, 1996
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Justice reached a settlement today with IBM that will terminate, in stages, the remaining provisions of the government's historic 1956 antitrust consent decree against the company. The Department's Antitrust Division said that it has agreed to terminate the provisions, in stages ending five years from today, because of changes in the competitive climate in the computer industry.
The terms of the proposed settlement, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (New York City), must be approved by Judge Allen G. Schwartz. If accepted by the court, the settlement would resolve ongoing litigation between the Department and IBM about the future of the decree.
David S. Turetsky, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division, said, "The IBM decree has proved enormously successful in encouraging competition in various computer markets over the years. By extending the life of the decree's main provisions into the next century, the Department ensures that those who have made important business decisions based on the decree will have time to make adjustments before it expires."
The decree was entered when the computer age was in its infancy on the basis of IBM's conduct in the market for old-fashioned tabulating machines, which worked with punch cards. The decree's protections, however, extended as well to electronic data processing machines.
The decree's main provisions required the Armonk, New York--based IBM to sell its machines as well as lease them, and required IBM to provide service and sell parts for IBM computers after they were no longer owned by IBM. This created a market in used equipment that competed with IBM's new machines and limited its monopoly power in the computer market.
Earlier the Department agreed to terminate immediately provisions involving personal computers and work stations--markets in which IBM faces considerable competition. The court approved this step in January 1996.
Today's proposed settlement provides for termination of the decree's main provisions as they apply to midframe computers, IBM's AS/400 line of products--in four years, and mainframe computers, IBM's System 390 products--in five years. A few provisions of the decree as it applies to AS/400 would terminate six months after or upon entry of the decree. A few provisions of the decree as it applies to System 390 products would terminate upon entry of the decree.
Turetsky said, "The proposed settlement also reflects the Department's awareness of changes in the competitive climate in the computer industry. The proposed settlement is fair to computer customers, competitors and to IBM."
The Department will propose that prior to the court's consideration of the proposed settlement, there be a 60-day period for public comments, which may be addressed to John F. Greaney, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Chief, Computers & Finance Section, 600 E Street, N.W., Suite 9300, Washington, D.C. 20530, (202) 307-6200.
1956 Antitrust Consent Decree Timeline
1956-01-25 AT&T settles antitrust case. Shares patents.
1956-01-26 IBM trust suit ended by decree. Machines freed.
1967-02-01 IBM confirms antitrust unit is studying computer industry.
1968-12-12 Rival sues IBM in a trust action.
1969-01-04 IBM is named in antitrust suit by data concern.
1969-01-17 U.S. Accuses IBM of Monopolizing Computer Market.
1969-01-23 Advertising: A story behind IBM's story.
1969-04-23 Suit against IBM is fourth in a row.
1969-06-07 IBM wins round in antitrust case.
1969-06-24 IBM readjusts pricing formula.
1972-10-17 Breakup of IBM is antitrust goal.
1973 01 16 IBM to sell unit to Control Data in settling suits.
1975-05-18 Curtain time for the IBM case.
1975-10-31 IBM wins shift in trial rulings.
1976-03-12 U.S., IBM urged to end trust suit.
1978-04-27 U.S. rests its case in IBM trust suit.
1979-11-13 IBM, Justice Dept Negotiate; Settlement May Be Approaching.
1980-06-01 IBM in Talks On Trust Suit.
1980-10-21 U.S. - IBM Trust Talks Suspended.
1982-01-08 U.S. Settles Phone Suit, Drops IBM Case.
1982-01-09 End of Action on IBM Follows Erosion of its Dominant Position.
The UNIX System: Multiprocessor UNIX Operating Systems
By M. J. BACH and S. J. BUROFF
Manuscript received August 22, 1983
This paper describes the problems posed by running the UNIX operating
system on multiprocessors, as well as some solutions. The resulting systems
function like their single-processor counterparts but yield 70 percent better
throughput for two-processor configurations. Closely coupled multiprocessor
UNIX systems currently run on IBM and AT&T Technologies hardware, but
the implementation described in this paper ports to other architectures as
well, and the design is not limited to two-processor configurations.
The UNIX operating system has been ported to many processors,
but only recently has it been ported to multiprocessor (MP) configurations.
Porting to multiprocessor configurations further extends the
range of machines on which UNIX systems are available and further
supports the concept of a portable operating system. It also extends
the range of UNIX system applications and provides an important
extension to the upward migration for projects that begin using the
UNIX system on a minicomputer and then outgrow that machine's
capabilities. UNIX systems currently run in multiprocessing environments
on IBM/370 architecture machines, and AT&T 3B20A and 3B5
computers, but the ensuing discussion applies equally well to other
machine architectures that support multiprocessor environments.
IV. IBM SPECIFIC ISSUES
The UNIX system for the IBM/370 does not run directly on IBM
hardware, but is a two-level system where the upper level consists of
UNIX system code, and the lower level consists of the resident
supervisor of the Time-Sharing System (TSS). The resident supervisor
handles all machine-dependent I/O operations, memory management
(including paging), process scheduling, and hardware error handling.
The UNIX system layer implements all UNIX system calls as well as
the file system structure. The interface between the two layers consists
of supervisor calls from the UNIX system to the resident supervisor,
and pseudo-interrupts from the resident supervisor up to the UNIX
The major advantages of this approach are that the UNIX system
on the IBM/370 does not have to concern itself with IBM hardware
architecture that may change from processor to processor, and support
for IBM peripherals comes for free, both via the resident supervisor.
The disadvantages are that a performance penalty is paid in communication
between the two layers, and that the system algorithms
employed in the resident supervisor are not necessarily optimal for
the UNIX operating system. For example, the semaphore operations
are enhancements to enqueue/dequeue operations that previously
existed in TSS and are much more general than required by the UNIX
1956 Antitrust Consent Decree Timeline
1994-06-08 U.S. will not fight IBM on court ruling.
1994-06-14 Judge v. IBM: Long, Bitter Clash.
1994-06-27 IBM Request Is Opposed.
1995-05-25 Opposition to motions to intervene, preliminary recommendations.
1995-07-19 Preliminary statement of issues.
1995-07-20 U.S. will not oppose IBM in trimming of most barriers.
1995-08-21 Memo on protective order issues.
1995-09-11 Memo in support of partial judgment termination.
1995-10-05 Memo on the 1969 case.
1996-01-16 Supplemental memorandum in support of partial judgment termination.
1996-01-23 Federal court order terminates portion of 1956 consent decree.
1996-04-26 Justice Department to ease 1956 IBM decree.
1996-05-24 Memo in support of its motion to compel discovery.
1996-07-02 Justice Department terminates provisions of IBM consent decree in stages.
1996-07-11 Memo in support of judgment modification.
1996-11-13 Memo in support of motion to modify 1956 final judgment, public comments.
1997-11-07 On appeal from the United States District Court.
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