EU Fines Intel a Record 1.06 Billion Euro

May 15, 2009

Chip giant Intel was handed a record fine of 1.06 billion Euro ($1.45 billion) for allegedly abusing its leading position in the CPU market.

“The decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace” commented Intel CEO Paul Otellini, adding that "Intel never sells products below cost. We have however, consistently invested in innovation, in manufacturing and in developing leadership technology. The result is that we can discount our products to compete in a highly competitive marketplace”. Sounds like its business as usual for Intel.

The EU report reads rather differently. The commission accuses the company of abusing its market position between 2002 and 2007, claiming Intel made generous payments to PC manufacturers and retailers to boycott AMD chips. Dell, Acer, HP, Lenovo and NEC were among the companies linked to Intel's malpractice.

According to the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, "Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years. Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU's antitrust rules cannot be tolerated". As can be expected, AMD is happy with the decision, even if the record figure is still below the sum the EU could have demanded. Intel is set to appeal.

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