Decision Nº M/05/011 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2005-04-20

Decision NumberM/05/011
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
Determination No. M/05/011 of the Competition Authority, 20th
April 2005, under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002.
Notification No. M/05/011- IBM/Ascential
1. On the 24th of March 2005 the Competition Authority, in accordance
with Section 18 (1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was
notified, on a mandatory basis, of a proposal whereby Ironbridge
Acquisition Corporation (“Ironbridge”), a wholly owned subsidiary of
IBM Corporation (“IBM”), would acquire Ascential Software
Corporation (“Ascential”).
The Parties
2. Ironbridge, the acquirer, is an acquisition vehicle set up by IBM to
facilitate the proposed acquisition of Ascential. IBM is active
worldwide in the development, production, and marketing of a
variety of information technology solutions. IBM’s business
offerings include systems (servers and storage systems), software
and services (business consulting and IT infrastructure services).
Currently IBM has a limited offering in the data integration software
market. Namely they offer a product with limited extract,
transform and load (“ETL”) capability
3. Ascential, the target, is active in the development and marketing of
data integration software solutions. Ascential’s offerings enable
customers to automate the integration of data, refining and
transforming the data from disparate sources into integrated and
consistent data that can be managed and analysed. In 2004
Ascential generated turnover of [less than $500,000] in the State.
4. The data integration software market includes four types of
software according to industry analysts IDC. The four types of
software are: (i) data analysis and reengineering tools; (ii)
replication and synchronisation software; (iii) extract, transform
and load (“ETL”) software and (iv) data quality software. The
functionality of Ascential’s data integration software offerings
extends mostly to the ETL functionality but also offers aspects of
the type of software described in (i) and (iv).

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