Intel Incurs EU Wrath, On Verge of Huge Fine

Intel Incurs EU Wrath, On Verge of Huge Fine
Intel is on the verge of joining Microsoft as an antitrust offender of the European Union and is likely to be fined by the European Commission this week. According to a Reuters’ report, the decision to fine the manufacturer will be issued on Wednesday.
The fine is a result of the complaint filed against Intel by its main competitor AMD back in 2001. AMD followed up the complaint by suing the world’s largest chipmaker on antitrust grounds in 2005. In July 2008, the European Commission increased Intel’s difficulties when it introduced position abuse charges against the company. These include Intel’s attempt to stop retailers from dealing in AMD processors by offering them inducements.
Another charge against Intel is that it reportedly delayed the launch of an AMD CPU based product by bribing “a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM)”. The company also offered “substantial” rebates to the same OEM if it gave Intel exclusive CPU rights.
On Friday, Commission officials discussed the charges and fines with “national competition authorities” of the EU. The verdict, when delivered on Wednesday, will require Intel to set up a new rebate structure for computer makers, one that does not infringe on the business of competitors.
While the exact fine figure is not known, various reports point towards the possibility of it being one of the largest in Europe’s antitrust history, possibly in the same league as the record $1 billion plus fine levied by the Commission on Microsoft last year.
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