As discussed in detail in The New York Times, the Justice Department is starting a preliminary antitrust inquiry of IBM. I can’t speak to whether certain actions taken by IBM or other companies were lawful or not, but I do think the investigation speaks more to current problems in the industry than it does to any particular wrongdoing.

Much of the action seems to be driven by the fact that IBM has a near-mainframe monopoly, and that businesses rely on mission-critical code that can only run on these mainframes. The issue here is not just IBM’s mainframe monopoly but, rather, the fact that companies are relying on code that was written 20 or 30 years ago.

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