Is EU targeting US Technology companies ? Will Intel be the next company to face EU-Antitrust fine after Microsoft ?

EU says Intel made 3 kinds of antitrust violations
The Commission said in a statement on Friday that Intel provided strategic customers CPU chips at below cost “in the context of bids against AMD”.
It also said Intel provided conditional rebates to computer makers so long as they agreed to obtain most or all of their CPU chips from Intel.
Finally, the Comission said Intel made payments “to induce (computer makers) to either delay or cancel the launch” of products that used AMD chips.


  • Eddie G.

    Sure they are. Mainly, we have MicroSoft to thank for this.
    MicroSoft has a long-standing history, among those who read the tech rags, for dealing with those competitors they deem a threat in a less than even-handed manner. This reputation didn’t fall out of a tree and hit them on the head; they earned it.
    Following that, they spent years trying to foist there proprietary code on the world as *de facto* standards. They have not had a reputation as technical innovators since before 1995 — if they ever did.
    I am pleased that the EU sees all this, and is prepared to deal with it. Intel has been in bed with MS for a long time, and may be judged guilty by association. That is an Intel problem. We choose our bedfellows, then we pay. No matter what the resolution, the user will not lose. Their are too many others ready and able to take their places.

  • Kunjal Maheshwari

    I suppose, EU is treating Intel in the same way as Microsoft,
    Might be because EU being the major base for FOSS community, they are mostly against Microsoft, Especially their was news that, The systems would not be upgraded to Windows Vista.
    Although MS is putting in its best to over come its competitors in Web domain.
    But, i find no sure reason why are they doing so..??

  • Vincenzo Guastella

    I would reverse your question. Is USA too friendly to its big companies ?
    Don’t forget that Microsoft violated antitrust laws even for the american authorities. It received a harsh sentence that later became much milder because of it’s importance for the american economy. I suppose that the Netscape guys (the american losers) were really happy about that.
    Once again Europe could find itself defending the american small guy from the american big one. While Intel is facing antitrust allegations in South Korea as well.

  • Alexis Wilke

    I think Vincenzo has the good answer. Many countries are being too lax in regard to really large companies (or are properly being lobbied?)
    Also one reason I do not like France is because of their anti-competition laws. You can get your store shutdown just and only because it stayed open 1h later than others (i.e. closes at 8pm instead of 7pm.)
    Now it is not the EU but AMD that started it all. And AMD has done the same thing in the US, not just the EU. It may be less publicized in the US right now, most certainly because the procedure has not been fully registered yet.
    VISA and Mastercard have the same problem too. And not just in Europe, Australia has already passed a law allowing the government to control the credit card fees. Some other Asian country has done it too (I don’t remember which one.)
    Also someone mentioned Vista and the fact that computers would not be updated with it. That again is not something specific to Europe. And Microsoft is aware of it. It is all over except the US probably because people are more appreciative of Microsoft since it is a US company (having computer development staff in China and probably India, though.)
    Hope this helps clarify things.
    Alexis W.

  • Peggy Schoen

    Ali –
    You might find it helpful to review the information on the European Commission’s Competition website (link below), which explains their focus and cases in the IT area.
    HR Communications Officer, International Monetary Fund

  • Susan Singleton

    I think the US started it. All the anti-trust judgments and cases were the US v Microsoft, weren’t they? US uncovered it and EU followed on as it were. So you hardly blame the EU for simply doing what the US started.
    How the EU decides which abuses of dominant position to take up is the interesting question. If you look at other recent cases of theirs there seems to be no anti-US bias as far as I can see. Plenty of EU companies are fined regularly for breach of EU anti trust laws.
    It can be a breach if a dominant company engages in predatory pricing (pricing below cost) and “ties” (saying if you buy the TV you had to take the DVD player – lawful if you’re not dominant as the customer will just say get lost and go elsewhere but can be illegal if you’re dominant as customer has no choice).

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