In 2006, IBM sued Platform Solutions over licenses the smaller company had purchased from Amdahl, a division of former mainframe competitor Fujitsu. IBM's lawsuit alleged that the licenses infringed its intellectual property. Platform Solutions filed a countersuit. In 2008, IBM purchased Platform Solutions, putting an end to the legal wrangling.
IBM also refused to license its mainframe OSes to users of the Hercules open source mainframe project trying to run mainframe software on non-IBM hardware, CCIA said.
But the complaint goes "way beyond" the Platform Solutions, T3 and Hercules cases, Black said. Many mainframe customers would like to find cheaper alternatives, but IBM has prevented them from doing so, he said.
"There's a number of things they have done to numerous companies," he said. "In a time of economic troubles, government deficits and corporate problems, there's a lot of customers that [would find] a choice and lower costs really desirable."