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Mainframe dealer tackles Big Blue

Mainframe dealer tackles Big Blue

A former second-hand mainframe dealer has made another Federal Court appearance accusing Big Blue of destroying its business through restrictive trade practices. It is the latest round in a legal battle Riverstone Computer Services has been fighting since 2002.

Company director, John Vardill, has alleged that IBM used its monopoly in the mainframe computer market to restrict and control the sale of second-hand mainframes.

IBM became the last global company making mainframe computers when Hitachi and Amdahl exited the market in 2002. Vardill’s case accuses it of effectively putting Riverstone’s second-hand mainframe enterprise out of business in the same year.

It is claimed that IBM had restricted and controlled the supply of used mainframe computers in order to maintain the sale of new, multi-million dollar systems.

Riverstone, based in the Sydney suburb of Mona Vale, was now attempting to negotiate a settlement with IBM, according to Vardill.

Late last month, Riverstone’s legal counsel, Gary Ulman of Mintor Ellison, filed a 100-page statement of claim in Sydney’s Federal Court, seeking damages and injunctions on IBM’s trade practices.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the two parties are set to meet in court again at the end of the month.

Vardill claimed Riverstone had more information to add to its case if the legal proceedings continued. The case is due back in court on May 27.

A spokesperson for IBM Australia said the vendor was unable to comment on ongoing legal matters.


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