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Intel still maintains its innocence

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.



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By crystal clear on 5/13/2009 7:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
Update- Intel hit with record $1.45 billion antitrust fine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission imposed a record 1.06 billion euros ($1.45 billion) fine on chipmaker Intel Corp on Wednesday and ordered it to halt illegal rebates and other practices to squeeze out rival AMD.

The Commission said Intel must pay the fine, which represents 4.15 percent of the company's 2008 turnover, within three months of the date of the notification of the decision.



http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE54C1SO...

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 13, 2009 – Paul Otellini, Intel Corporation president and CEO today issued the following statement regarding the European Commission decision on Intel's business practices:

"Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal."

"We do not believe our practices violated European law. The natural result of a competitive market with only two major suppliers is that when one company wins sales, the other does not. The Directorate General for Competition of the Commission ignored or refused to obtain significant evidence that contradicts the assertions in this decision. We believe this evidence shows that when companies perform well the market rewards them, when they don't perform the market acts accordingly."

"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 , passing along to consumers everywhere the efficiencies of being the world's leading volume manufacturer of microprocessors."

"Despite our strongly held views, as we go through the appeals process we plan to work with the Commission to ensure we're in compliance with their decision. Finally, there should be no doubt whatsoever that Intel will continue to invest in the products and technologies that provide Europe and the rest of the world the industry's best performing processors at lower prices."

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20...

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/legal/


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