BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are set to accept concessions offered by International Business Machines Corp and end an antitrust investigation this month, averting a possible fine, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The U.S. information technology hardware company offered in September to provide certain spare parts and technical information to companies that use its mainframe hardware and software.
The proposed concessions, under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions, will be for a period of five years.
The European Commission agreed to accept this offer after IBM made some minor changes, one of the sources said. The EU executive’s decision to drop the investigation could be announced as early as next week.
IBM declined to comment. In September, it said that it did not agree with the Commission’s charge that it may have abused its dominant position by imposing ‘unreasonable’ supply conditions for some products to rivals of mainframe maintenance services.
Many big companies and governments use mainframes, which are powerful computers, to store and process data.
This will be the second case that European Commission will wind up involving IBM. The EU watchdog closed an investigation into IBM in August after three small rivals dropped their complaints.
The Commission, which can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover, has levied billion-euro fines in recent years against firms such as Microsoft and Intel for breaching EU rules.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle