Intel caught cheating

CPU manufacturer faces R12.3billion Antitrust fine

May 14, 2009

Following a complaint lodged by AMD, Intel is now facing a whopping €1.06 billion fine for violating European antitrust laws and abusing its dominant market position.

Upon following up on AMD’s complaint, the European commission established that between 2002 and 2007 Intel paid PC makers to favor their CPUs over AMD’s. The commission identified Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC as the primary culprits, and concluded that these manufacturers were awarded rebates in exchange for granting Intel CPU exclusivity in their products.

Interestingly, the Media Saturn, which owns Europe’s biggest consumer electronics retailer Media Markt had also essentially been bribed by Intel to only carry Intel CPUs and chipsets.

Unfortunately for Intel, the scandal does not end there, and in a shocking revelation, it has also been discovered that Intel went as far as to pay certain vendors to postpone or even cancel products equipped with AMD processors.

According to Fudzilla the Competition Commission’s Neelie Kroes stated that “Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU’s antitrust rules cannot be tolerated.”

Intel however is appealing the findings, and categorically denies paying manufacturers and retailers to favor its products.

Intel’s Senior Vice President Bruce Sewell told BBC News “We would never pay for any kind of obligation,” and went on to state  “We provide incentives to customers to buy our products.”

AMD on the other hand is pleased, as this is not the first time it has lodged a complaint of this nature against Intel.

AMD’s EMEA President Giuliano Meroni made a brief statement on the matter – “The EU decision will shift the power from an abusive monopolist to computer makers, retailers and above all PC consumers”

AMD’s CEO Dirk Meyer went on to say that the ruling “is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market,” and that AMD is “looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers.”

While Intel is appealing the findings, this is not the first time that the chip maker has been caught red handed. Last year Intel was found guilty of similar practices in Korea, and in 2005 it was found guilty in Japan. To top it off, Intel is under investigation for similar charges in the USA.

Discuss Intel’s Antitrust violation in the forums

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