(p. 1D) Turns out that Warren Buffett spoke out in IBM’s favor, sort of, 37 years ago when the government accused “Big Blue” of illegal anti-competitive practices.
. . .
But Buffett was one of 87 witnesses who testified on behalf of the International Business Machines Corp. during the federal government’s antitrust trial.
. . .
In his testimony, Buffett said he asked the Price, Waterhouse accounting firm to calculate the debt levels of 104 other computer-oriented companies that, according to federal prosecutors, were harmed by IBM’s low prices and other alleged anti-competitive actions.
Buffett said his hypothesis was that the competing companies had trouble raising money to finance their growth because they had too much debt. The accounting analy-(p. 2D)sis, Buffett said in court, “bore that hypothesis out in a very conclusive manner.”
So why didn’t he buy IBM stock in 1980?
Because, he told the court, with high-tech companies it’s “particularly difficult to have a clear view of a long-term future. … High-technology companies are ones where both the product and the customer’s use of it are (areas in which) I don’t feel I have a full understanding.”
For the full commentary, see:
Steve Jordon. “WARREN WATCH; What Buffett said in court about IBM in 1980.” Omaha World-Herald (Sun., Jan 22, 2017): 1D-2D.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the title “WARREN WATCH; What Warren Buffett said in court about IBM in 1980.”)