It seems that Microsoft isn't the only US company guilty of antitrust issues, according to an 8 year probe that has just wrapped up by the European Union's Competition Commission.
In a statement to Intel, Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the record $1.45 Billion (US) fine should come as "no surprise" given Intel had been deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for years. "Intel did not compete fairly, frustrating innovation and reducing consumer welfare in the process."
The EU's Competition Commission further announced that Intel cease illegal sales tactics in Europe that shut out their main competitor AMD.
AMD has for years claimed that Intel has been practicing high volume discounts, rebates, financial incentives plus intimidation of computer retailers, effectively shut AMD out of any chance at a market share.
Agreeing with AMD, regulators accused Intel of deals with computer manufacturers to buy all or most of their chips from Intel and gave them rebates or paid them to delay or stop their release of computers with AMD chips or limit their purchase of AMD chips entirely. Regulators also said Intel "went to great lengths" to hide this information, not including it in contracts, evidence of these anticompetitive practices were found in clandestine emails and statements from businesses, occasionally through surprise raids.
The Commission calculated the sum based on 4 percent of Intel's 2008 $37.6 billion in sales worldwide, and on the value of Intel's chip sales in the EU during the time it was breaking the EU's antitrust laws: 5 years and 3 months.
-According to the EU's anti-trust laws, the Commission could of pressed for a higher fine, up to 10 % of Intel's yearly sales for each year it was breaking the law.
- Intel should thank them for getting off easy.-