Thursday, May 14, 2009

EU Levies Record-Breaking Fine on Intel

Chipmaker, Intel, was fined a record $1.45bn by the European Commission for unfair trade practices. According to the EU - and Intel rival, AMD, which has levied complaints against the manufacturer three times since 2000 - Intel offered "hidden rebates" to computer manufacturers who used only Intel chips. Intel admits to offering "incentives" but "categorically denies" any wrongdoing and plans to appeal the verdict.

The EU claims Intel basically bribed computer manufacturers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and NEC, as well as retail outlet, Media Markt, to use/sell only Intel products and delay the launch of AMD-based products throughout 2002-2007. In 2008, Intel dominated the microprocessor market, providing chips for over 80% of all PCs; AMD had only 12%.

Intel faces anti-trust legislation worldwide, including here in the US. Japan and Korea are also investigating Intel's business practices.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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