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European Commission Smacks Intel for One Billion Dollars

| 14 May 2009 13:27
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After engaging in "abuse of the market", Intel is being hit by the European Commission for nearly $1.5 billion.

According to the European Commission, Intel paid off manufacturers to recommend its chips over those of AMD.

AMD complained in 2000, 2003 and 2006; Intel was found to have broken the antitrust ruling between 2002 and 2007.

"Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years," said Neelie Kroes (pictured), the Competition Commissioner. "Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU's antitrust rules cannot be tolerated." Intel has been told to immediately cease this business practice and pay $1.45 billion.

Intel denies the accusation, saying, "We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor market. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal."

Kroes joked about this later in the press conference, saying that Intel should change its slogan from "sponsors of tomorrow" to "the sponsor of the European taxpayer."

This new levy dwarfs the meager Microsoft payout of $794 million over a similar antitrust breech, and may not be the end of such woes for Intel. Japan, Korea and even the US are all preparing charges according to David Anderson, a lawyer at Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Source: The BBC

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