Intel caught cheating

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.

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  • Dixie

    Shocked! Not! Never knew Intel to play "clean". Lol at AMD. If you want to run with the big boys, you can't p!ss like a puppy…

  • Rouxenator

    That is why I have hated intel for the last 9 years. They are always copying AMD and I hope this hurts them badly. Had it not been for intel and their dirty tactics I would never heve become an AMD user.

  • merc

    So what?!?!? Intel are better and have a wider range of products. AMD should grow up and try to keep

  • WoW

    If you are unable to beat them, accuse them of something

  • Zebatshu

    Well I am happy that AMD is doing something about this, things like this really kills the market for the competition. But with this being unfolded support for AMD might grow, and that only means one thing, price cuts from intel!

  • EffKay

    To all the Intel supporters: This matter is like (purely for example) Coca-cola offering rebates or big discounts to customers and retailers which don't stock (for example) bottled water.

    Is that fair or even in the interests of consumers?
    When you change the product being discussed, it becomes obvious that Intel cheated and these tactics cost AMD a lot and ultimately are unethical.

    Then "if Intel's products are SO good then why does Intel need to cook up such a scheme in the first place?" is the one question NOT being asked nor answered by Intel's fans…

  • Fruitcake

    I buy best bang for buck. What the intel fanboys miss, intel is screwing them over too.

    The fanboys pay much more the CPU than it's worth. So the fanboys praise intel for screwing them over.

    The R4k Intel processor could have cost R2k… but since the fanboys love their Intel chips, they don't might paying premium!

  • Anonymous

    EyLLLl tell my sempron to stick it to them.

  • TheOne

    South Africa is no better!! HAve you seen the pricefixing (sorry, called "Price protection") that larger retail stores force onto suppleirs!! Time to investigate the corrupt Incredibles and Wired's out there!

  • Griffin

    You're spot on Theone. I purchased an AMD FX55 processor way back when it was the fastest thing on the market. I paid around R6000 while living in London. When I arrived back in SA, I found a certain large national reseller had it for sale at R13400, ex vat. Atrocious, especially since I know there is little to no import duties and taxes – besides VAT – on these items.

    Re: Intel versus AMD. Until recently I've always found AMD to be the faster more overclockable processor. Don't get me wrong, it did have some issues, but overall I preferred it from a price versus performance perspective. The new Intel's however are dominating the market. Incentive's are clever, but can be abused, and its clear that this is what Intel's been. Court cases will run for some time, and eventually money will change hands. I work in business where this happens now and then. Not daily, but recently it happened… a few million I believe. It sucks, but until big businesses, corporates and high ranking officials stop abusing loopholes in legislature, all we can do is complain.

  • Syk0tik

    Im not at all surprised… These things happen and it in no way will affect my support for intel, its a dog eat dog world for the top corporates such as intel & AMD and as Griffin said, This is common practice nowadays.

Intel caught cheating