EU closer to antitrust charges against Intel

EU officials are urging antitrust charges against Intel, reports say

Formal antitrust charges against computer chip maker Intel in Europe are coming closer, after officials working on the case advised European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes to push ahead with legal action, according to reports.

The European Commission spokesman for competition, Jonathan Todd, declined to comment on the reports, which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on Reuters. "We have an ongoing case against Intel. I can't say any more than that," he said.

The Commission is the E.U.'s regulatory and executive body.

The reports said a decision to send Intel a so-called statement of objections could be taken at any time now, although Kroes is understood to be proceeding cautiously.

Intel's spokesman in Brussels, Chuck Mulloy, wasn't immediately available to comment.

The Commission has been examining Intel's behavior in the European chip market for more than six years. Rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) complained to the European regulator in 2000 that Intel, with around 80 percent market share, was pressuring computer manufacturers to remain loyal to its products by offering them rebates.

AMD believes this is a coercive tactic that distorts competition, Tom McCoy, the company's executive vice president for legal affairs said last year in an interview. The Commission has hesitated in taking action because these rebates help reduce the price of chips to the end user. However, the regulator must weigh this benefit against the long-term cost of potentially allowing one competitor to foreclose the market for a product that is essential for all computers.

If the Commission does issue a statement of objections then Intel will have to reply to the charges in writing. It would then be given the opportunity to present its arguments in a closed door hearing with the Commission and rivals.

The process can take years, but if the regulator concludes that Intel has abused its dominant position in the market it could be fined up to 10 percent of its global annual sales.

Japanese competition officials declared that Intel's rebate schemes are illegal in 2005. Intel is appealing that finding.

AMD has filed an antitrust case against Intel in the federal court in Delaware in the U.S. That case is still pending. Meanwhile, South Korea is also investigating Intel's practices.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Meller

IDG News Service
Show Comments


Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?