For over 30 years, CCIA has supported competition policies and enforcement that ensure a level playing field for all participants in computer and communications markets.
Competition and vibrant markets fuel economic growth and reinforce our industry's leadership in innovation and technology development. CCIA advocates for open markets, open systems, open networks, and full, fair and open competition. Public antitrust and competition policy should be designed to advance this goal.
Competition Policy and the High-tech Industry:
The competitive dynamic is especially important in high-tech industries where rapid innovation is a defining characteristic. Some argue that it is this very trait that obviates the need for antitrust enforcement in the technology industry; however, even a quick examination of this bumper sticker ideology proves this notion wrong. In reality, certain characteristics of computer and communications markets necessitate proactive, targeted competition policy. To a greater extent than most markets, high-tech and internet-centric industries are characterized by a heavy reliance on complicated patent portfolios, network effects, economies of scale, standardization, and interoperability. These inherent features often make anticompetitive actions difficult to detect, harder to remedy, and more detrimental to innovation and venture capital allocation.
CCIA’s involvement in worldwide Intel Antitrust investigations:
CCIA’s institutional commitment to open markets and fair competition has led us to take an active role in the worldwide Intel antitrust investigations. Intel has been the subject of antitrust investigations dating back to the 1980’s. The last four years have seen a worldwide backlash against Intel’s anticompetitive practices, which are designed at keeping AMD—Intel’s only significant competitor in the x86 computer chip market—from fairly competing in the computer processor arena.
Japan, Korea and now Europe have already taken significant action and judged Intel’s practices to be illegal. In the U.S. the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General’s office have begun their own investigations into Intel’s conduct. We fully expect U.S. authorities to act given the sheer magnitude of the evidence that indicates that Intel has violated U.S. Antitrust law.
For more info on Intel Antitrust cases, click here
CCIA’s involvement in IBM mainframe case:
IBM has been the focus of antitrust scrutiny since the 1950’s. Currently, the company faces charges surrounding their anticompetitive actions in the mainframe market, where they possess nearly 100% market share. Although not visible to the average consumer, mainframes house nearly 80% of the world’s corporate and government data valued at nearly $5 trillion. Mainframes power more than 50 billion transactions a day, including ATM withdrawals, healthcare record access and tax transactions. These high-powered computers are used by 95% of the fortune 500 companies, major governments and militaries around the world and are crucial components underpinning our financial system.
By withdrawing patent licenses and threatening lawsuits, IBM has locked-in its customers preventing the critical data and applications that reside in mainframes from being used by other hardware offerings, such as high-end x86 servers. In doing so IBM has locked out competition and as a result, mainframe customers have few—if any—viable alternatives and are forced to pay significantly higher prices for support and services.
For more info on IBM mainframe market, click here