EU Releases Documents In Intel Antitrust Case

The Antitrust Division of the European Union given substantial evidence regarding illegal practices by the world's biggest semiconductor company, Intel, in a bid to drive out its main competitor AMD of the CPU market in Europe.

In a rare move, the EU released a number of emails, memos, internal documents and company statements that indicate that Intel was indulging in what the EC called practices that harmed consumers throughout the EEA.

Jonathan Todd, a commission spokesman, said in a statement that “There have been some suggestions that the decision was based on allegations and not facts. With the publication of this decision, you can see precisely the details of the facts and how Intel broke the law."

The amount of details provided by the European Commission is nothing short of bewildering and include a number of written communications implicating most of the top computer manufacturers - NEC, HP, Dell, Lenovo - in Europe.

This comes as Intel was ordered to pay 1.06 billion Euros back in May 2009 for issuing secret payments and rebates to retailers who had agreed not to sell products containing AMD processors.

Intel's payments are more than double what the European Union fined Microsoft and follows years of what AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs, Tom McCoy, calls "illegal behaviour".

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General are understood to be looking closely at the European Union investigations and could carry out their own in the US based on the case in the EU.

Our Comments

The consumer is the loser if there is no competition. We will see whether the European Commission could potentially force Intel to stomp that staggering one billion Euros fine. Intel has already lodged an appeal against the fine which is unlikely to have an impact on the EC's decision.

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(Electronics weekly)

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