The IT Law Wiki



Bundling, for antitrust purposes, involves situations in which buyers could purchase items separately from a seller, but receive more advantageous terms from that seller by purchasing goods or services together.


Bundling is

[g]rouping together of projects or services within one project structure in a manner which allows them to be procured, financed and developed as one project.[1]

Hardware and software[]


in the computer industry is a practice by which a computer manufacturer charges a single price for the hardware and software, and other services provided, along with the sale of the computer system. Included in the single price is the hardware, all software that has been developed, future supportive systems, education services, and, to varying degrees, all future developments in software. This has been the practice in the computer industry since its inception, when there was little software available.[2]


Bundling is the practice of distributing multiple pieces of software together, so that when the software bundle is installed, multiple components may be installed. In many cases, bundling is a convenient way to distribute related pieces of software together. However, in some cases, unwanted software components, such as nuisance or harmful adware, can be bundled with programs users want, and can thereby be downloaded onto their computers without notice or consent.[3]

Overview (Software)[]

In 1969, IBM announced that going forward it would unbundled its software in an effort to settle an antitrust suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to 1969, IBM computer systems came with the software bundled and not priced separately. Bundling of software was a significant barrier to entry; unbundling led to the creation of a vibrant Software industry.


  1. The Scottish Government, Scottish Capital Investment Manual, Glossary (full-text).
  2. United Software Corp. v. Sperry Rand Corp., 5 Computer L. Serv. Rep. 1492, 1497 (E.D. Pa. 1974).
  3. Anti-Spyware Coalition Glossary.