European Commission raids Intel offices in Munich

The EC raided Intel's offices in Munich on Tuesday.

Intel offices in Munich were raided by the European Commission on Tuesday as part of an ongoing antitrust investigation.

Confirming the raids, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company fully cooperated with the EC. He declined further comment.

The Commission inspected the premises of CPU manufacturers and PC retailers, said Jonathan Todd, spokesman for the EC, declining to comment on which companies were raided.

The offices of German consumer electronics vendor Media Markt and DSG International, which runs Dixons in the U.K., were also raided, according to multiple newspaper and wire service reports.

The raids relate to concerns of the abuse of a dominant market position, the EC said in a statement.

"Surprise inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected infringements of EC competition law," the Commission said. The inspections do not prove guilt of anticompetitive behavior or prejudge the outcome of the investigation, the Commission said.

The raid comes on the heels of multiple complaints and lawsuits filed by Intel competitor Advanced Micro Devices with authorities in the European Union, U.S., Japan, South Korea and Japan, charging Intel with monopolistic behavior.

In 2006, AMD said it planned to file a complaint with German authorities regarding Intel's alleged anticompetitive behavior. AMD alleged that Intel paid German retail chain Media Markt not to stock PCs containing AMD processors, citing a letter to a supplier in which the retailer said it would only buy PCs with Intel processors.

As part of ongoing inquiries into Intel's monopolistic behavior, the EC earlier raided Intel's offices in 2005. Authorities in Japan raided Intel's offices in 2004.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service

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