IBM seeks end to antitrust agreement

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Forty years after a historic antitrust consent agreement with IBM Corp. set the stage for greater competition in the computer industry, the U.S. Justice Department and IBM are seeking the agreement's termination. In an action filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, IBM and the government proposed ending the agreement in stages over the next five years because of changes in the computer industry.

The original agreement, intended to increase competition in the industry, had required IBM to not only lease its computers but also to sell computers and then supply parts to outside vendors that could compete for contracts with IBM. The Justice Department dropped the requirement for personal computers early this year and now is proposing to do the same for IBM's midframe and mainframe line.

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