Wednesday, July 29, 2009

INTEL hit with record anti-trust fine

The European Commision fined Intel corp a record 1.06 billion euros(1.45 billion dollars) last month and ordered it to halt illegal rebates and other practices used to squeeze out rival AMD.
"given that intel has harmed millions of european consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for five years, the size of the fine should come as no surprise ," European Union Competition Commisioner Neelie Kroes told a news briefing.
the Eu executive said Intel paid computer makers to postpone or cancel plans to launch products that used AMD chips, paid illegal, secret rebates so computer manufacturers would use mostly or entirely Intel chips and paid a major retailer to stock only computers with its chips.
It ordered Intel to cease the illegal practices immediately to the extent that they are still ongoing. Intel may continue to offer rebates, so long as they are legal, the Commision said.
The EU antitrust fine is the biggest imposed on an individual company, exceeding an 896 million euro penalty last year against glass maker Saint-Gobain for price fixing, and a 497 million euro fine in 2004 on Microsoft for abuse of dominance.
Intel President and CEO PAul Otellini saidthe company plans to appeal at Europe's Court of First Instance.

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