The battle between Intel and AMD has raged for years now, with claims that the dominant chip manufacture has literally straggled AMD’s prospects with OEM’s, through the offering of cash incentives or refusal of services and rebates to delay or deny AMD based products .
Intel was found guilty in Japan in 2005, and last year (2008), Intel was also determined guilty by the Korean FTC and fined what amounted to $26 million USD. However, $26m may be but a drop in the bucket compared to the fine the EU is rumored to be delivering this Wednesday, May 13th 09.
The EU levied charges against Intel back in 2007 and 2008, and the verdict was reached surprisingly quick, given the typical time required to investigate such serious accusations, not to mention the potentially enormous penalty to be handed down. Legal experts contacted by the New York Times speculated that the initial fines may reach the $1 Billion Euros mark. In antitrust case law, the commission could potentially fine offending companies up to 10% of their global sales. The EU is notorious for their pursuit for “justice” which often results in large
fines for “monopolistic” cash cows corporations, such as Microsoft.
A quoted in the New York times, head of the EU, Howard Cartlidge, stated “I’d be surprised if the fine isn’t as high or higher than in the Microsoft case,” In 2003 Microsoft was ordered to pay $497 million Euros ($700 Million USD+-) in fines, and that number has since grown to over $2 Billion USD as a result of additional fines. The EU is again pursuing this source of revenue for more violations regarding the anti competitive nature of only natively installing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer onto Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Along with the fine against Intel, the EU will most likely demand that Intel adjust its business practices to allow for a fair playing field between the competitors and that it stop its obviously restricting practice of offering rebates and other incentives to third party PC Makers. Intel however still denies any wrong in the case and will most likely appeal when the verdict is reached.
A follow-up with the decided penalty will be reported later in the week.