Menu
Intel up before the Euro beak

Intel up before the Euro beak

European Commission antitrust officials investigating computer chip maker Intel presented what they believe is a watertight argument for prosecuting the firm to an internal panel of so-called devil's advocates on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Holding their case up to the scrutiny of the panel may indicate that the officials on the case are confident enough to push ahead with legal action. The panel was recently introduced into the antitrust investigation process in order to prevent poorly prepared cases turning into formal legal proceedings.

Intel has been under investigation by the commission for the past five years. With a global market share in the computer chip market of around 80 percent, the company dwarfs its nearest rival, AMD, which accounts for the bulk of the remaining sales of chips around the world.

Neither Intel nor the European Commission were immediately available to comment.

Thomas M. McCoy, AMD's executive vice president of legal affairs, said in a recent interview he is confident the European Commission will take action to stop Intel abusing its dominance in the market.

"The Intel investigation is coming to a close," he said, adding that he was confident it would result in Neelie Kroes, the competition commissioner, issuing a charge sheet, known as a statement of objections to the company.

"I am optimistic she will push ahead with the lawsuit because she is independent from political pressure, both Intel and AMD are big employers in Europe, and because unlike other antitrust cases there are no complicated intellectual property issues at stake in this case," McCoy said.

Last year the European Commission launched surprise visits on Intel's offices in Europe, confiscating documents in their hunt for evidence of illegal behavior.

Last month the European regulator took over a separate investigation being conducted by German antitrust officials, into claims that Intel was forcing Europe's biggest computer retailer, Media Markt, only to stock computers fitted with Intel chips.

Consumer groups have complained to the regulators that computer buyers are getting less choice as a result of Intel's tactics, which include granting rebates in return for loyalty from PC manufacturers.

AMD's McCoy said Intel uses the threat of price increases to persuade PC makers like Sony and Hewlett-Packard not to build PCs around AMD's chips.

"Sony used to have a model running on AMD chips at any given price range but then they went 100 percent Intel. Ultimately the consumer loses through reduced choice," he said.

The devil's advocate panel includes the competition department's chief economist, Damien Neven, along with colleagues in the department who aren't involved in the Intel case.

If the draft case against Intel is supported by the panel, the investigating team will propose that Kroes issue a statement of objections to the company for the first time in the five years it has spent investigating Intel.


Follow Us

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 intelchips

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments