Wednesday, May 13, 2009

naughty intel

The European Union fined Intel $1.44 billion today (well, technically they fined them in ”Europe money” but that means nothing to me.) for anti-trust violations. The violations cited are:

“[The Commission] said Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC for buying all or almost all their x86 [processors] from Intel and paid them to stop or delay the launch of computers based on chips from AMD . . . Regulators said [Intel] also paid Germany's biggest electronics retailer, Media Saturn Holding — which owns the MediaMarkt superstores — from 2002 to 2007 to only stock Intel-based computers.
This meant workers at AMD's biggest European plant in Dresden, Germany, could not buy AMD-based personal computers at their city's main PC store.”

“AMD offered 1 million free chips to one manufacturer — which could not accept because that would lose it a rebate on many millions of other chips. It only took 160,000 free chips in the end, regulators said. . . . Intel's payments to manufacturers ordered the company to delay the European launch of AMD's first business desktop by six months. They were also paid to only sell the AMD line to small and medium companies and to only offer them directly to customers instead of to retailers.
Other manufacturers were paid to postpone the launch of AMD-based notebooks by several months, from September 2003 to January 2004 and from September 2006 to the end of 2006 — missing the key Christmas market.”

Intel is reported as having said: Company CEO Paul Otellini calls it "wrong" and says "there has been absolutely zero harm to consumers."

All taken from:

I’m not really sure how you can say that selling your products at a certain price if your retailers agree to not sell any competition is not wrong…

There is an identical investigation going on in the United states:

“Well, there is an investigation . . . at the [U.S. Federal Trade Commission]; there's also one in the United States by the New York Attorney General's office. Intel is fully cooperating with both of those . . . we're producing evidence, we produce testimonies, depositions, and so forth. The FTC has had a position on anti-trust which is very much comparable, I think, to the EU's, so we're actually being looked at under the same lens today by both parties.” Quoted at

Korea has already fined Intel $25 million in an antitrust case.

I wonder if they will get another round of slaps for their chipset bundling practices against Nvidia (who makes the ion platform for

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