European Commission Charges Intel with Antitrust Violations
BRUSSELS/SUNNYVALE, Calif.-The European Commission (EC) today confirmed that it has charged Intel with violating EU competition laws by abusing its dominant position in the global microprocessor market. The Commission said in a press briefing today that “in the short, medium and long-term, we think that the actions of Intel are bad news for competition and consumers.”
The EC’s Statement of Objections is based on evidence collected in a thorough, multi-year investigation of the company’s business practices which the European Commission characterized as “extremely rigorous.” Evidence seized from Intel offices and collected from PC manufacturers across Europe provided the foundation for the European Commission’s strong antitrust case.
“Consumers know today that their welfare has been sacrificed in the illegal interest of preserving monopoly profits. Intel has circled the globe with a pattern of conduct, including direct payments, in order to enforce full and partial boycotts of AMD. The EU action obviously suggests that Intel has, once again, been unable to justify its illegal conduct,” said Thomas M. McCoy, AMD executive vice president legal affairs and chief administrative officer.
The EC specified that the charges cover:
“First, Intel has provided substantial rebates to various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) conditional on them obtaining all or the great majority of their CPU requirements from Intel.
Secondly, in a number of instances, Intel made payments in order to induce an OEM to either delay or cancel the launch of a product line incorporating an AMD-based CPU.
Thirdly, in the context of bids against AMD-based products for strategic customers in the server segment of the market, Intel has offered CPUs on average below cost.”
The EC charges against Intel are the latest step in a series of global investigations into Intel’s abusive business practices.
In March 2005, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission ruled that Intel had violated the country’s anti-monopoly laws by illegally forcing full or partial exclusivity with five Japanese PC makers.
An active antitrust investigation - with data seizures similar to those in Japan and Europe - continues in South Korea, and AMD has brought antitrust civil actions in Japan and the United States.
Allegations of Intel misconduct are also echoed in a U.S. class-action complaint filed by Dell shareholders in January 2007, which claims that Intel illegally paid Dell in excess of a billion dollars a year to not purchase microprocessors from its competitors.
For more information on AMD’s commitment to fair and open competition, please visit http://www.amd.com/breakfree.
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