Intel and Microsoft are two of the largest and most dominant companies in the technology industry. Both of the companies have also been accused of antitrust violations over the years and have at times been found guilty of the accusations.
Intel has been battling EU regulators over antitrust allegations claiming it abused it dominant market position to prevent its main rival, AMD, from gaining traction in the marketplace. The allegations claim that Intel was illegally paying computer makers to postpone or cancel the launch of products using AMD processors according to insiders close to the case.
Reuters reports that EU regulators are set to decide on Wednesday to fine Intel and order it to change its business practices. One EU executive claimed that Intel has practiced "naked restrictions" to competition in the market.
There is no indication at this time on how large the fine assessed against Intel might be; the largest fine ever assessed by the commission for abuse of a dominant position in the marketplace was the $655 million fine levied against Microsoft in March of 2004.
According to sources cited by Reuters, the EU commission is expected to rule that Intel committed two violations. One of the violations alleges that Intel paid computer makers to delay or outright scrap products using AMD processors. Intel is also said to offer other inducements to computer makers to get them to sell Intel only machines.
Intel allegedly set the percentages of its chips that PC makers had to use. NEC was told that 20% of its notebooks could use AMD CPUs according to sources. The source claimed that all Lenovo notebooks had to use Intel chips and many Dell products had to as well. HP is claimed to have been required to offer 95% of its notebooks with Intel processors. Intel had no comment on the claims and still maintains it did nothing wrong.