Intel set to appeal EC's $1.44B antitrust fine

The substantial fine "amounts to about $23 for every CPU sold in Europe last year"

Intel Corp. said it plans to appeal last week's European Commission decision to fine the company for violating antitrust laws.

The EC found Intel guilty of paying rebates to computer manufacturers and to Europe's largest IT retailer, Media Markt, in order to keep systems based on chips from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. off of store shelves. Although the rebates did result in lower retail prices for PCs, EC Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes contended that they left consumers without a choice of technologies.

Dean McCarron, an analyst at Mercury Research, noted that the substantial fine "amounts to about $23 for every CPU sold in Europe last year."

During a hastily arranged press conference, Intel CEO Paul Otellini argued that the EC "ignored or disregarded" evidence "refuting" the antitrust charges. "There were a number of documents from OEMs or between Intel and OEMs that refute what was claimed here," he said.

Otellini disputed a key EC allegation: that Intel paid "conditional" rebates to PC makers to prevent them from purchasing chips from competitors. The EC "alleged exclusive deals but couldn't find them, so it said we must have hidden ," he said, adding that the EC "got all of the documents that they wanted . . . so I'm really baffled."

Michael Cooper, an antitrust attorney at Bryan Cave LLC, criticized the EC's decision. "It is hardly clear that the EU's action will benefit consumers. The consumer rarely benefits when enforcers take actions to protect less-efficient firms from the rigors of competition."

Kroes said the antitrust action will protect consumers. "Intel has harmed millions of EU consumers," so the large fine -- the largest antitrust penalty the EC has ever levied against a single company -- should "come as no surprise," she said.

If Intel fails in its appeal, McCarron said the company's pricing structure could become "less complicated," with no more rebates.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld 's print edition.

Join the newsletter!

Or

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.

Tags intelantitrusteuropean commision

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai with Paul Meller

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?