Intel Faces $1.3B Fine In Europe

Hugh Pickens writes “European antitrust regulators, who have been aggressively pursuing what they see as anticompetitive practices among technology companies, could impose their largest fine ever in a market-dominance case against Intel. The commission began investigating Intel in 2000 after Advanced Micro Devices, its arch-rival, filed a complaint. In two sets of charges, in 2007 and 2008, the commission accused Intel of abusing its dominant position in chips by giving large rebates to computer makers, by paying computer makers to delay or cancel product lines, and by offering chips for server computers at prices below actual cost. Some legal experts speculate that Intel’s fine could reach about a billion euros, or .3B. ‘I’d be surprised if the fine isn’t as high or higher than in the Microsoft case,’ said an antitrust and competition lawyer in London. In 2004 Microsoft paid a fine of €497M, or 3M at current exchange rates, after being accused of abusing its dominance; the EU imposed another .3B fine in Feb. 2008.”

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