After only 40 years and nine months of waiting, IBM Corp is finally free from the shackles of the 1956 Consent Decree, imposed on it in the days when it was really was big, blue, and all powerful. Following the US Department of Justice decision in July last year to dissolve the 1956 Consent Decree over a five year period (CI No 2,978), the settlement is now complete, and IBM is free to trade on its own terms. The Justice Department finally decided to terminate the decree on the basis that there was an active, competitive market now established. The 1956 decree came about following an antitrust suit brought by the US government way back in 1952, before many of today’s IBMers were even born, and at a time when IBM really knew how to keep its technology to itself to gain market dominance. How the mighty have fallen. The decision, while being long overdue in today’s ever more competitive market, nonetheless poignantly highlights IBM’s declining influence on a market now dominated by the likes of Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp. IBM said it is very pleased about the decision. which affects its trade across the world.