EU regulators expand antitrust case against Intel

2008-07-18 13:13:05 GMT       2008-07-18 21:13:05 (Beijing Time)

People visit the Intel display at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan.7, 2008. (Photo:Agencies)

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Claiming the world's largest microchip maker has intentionally pressured rival AMD out of the chip market, European Union regulators have expanded their antitrust case against Intel. Corp.

The European Commission said Thursday it has added three new charges against Intel, warning that it may order Intel to change its behavior under threat of large fines that can total 10 percent of its global revenue. Intel's 2007 sales were 38 billion U.S. dollars.

Intel said the new charges did not reflect any major change to the first group sent in July 2007.

The company said in a statement that its conduct "has always been lawful, pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers." It claimed that the EU seemed to be supporting AMD's view that Intel should stop price discounts that have lowered prices for customers.

"This is still just the EU doing what the EU does — it hasn't changed our posture with respect to Europe," Intel's general counsel, Bruce Sewell, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "This doesn't change our exposure. It's just more of the same."

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s vice president of legal affairs, Tom McCoy, said the latest charges reinforce AMD's long-standing allegation that Intel is "robbing consumers of their fundamental right to choose."

"No antitrust laws anywhere in the world permit Intel to pay retailers and computer manufacturers to boycott non-Intel products," McCoy said in a statement.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., sells more than three-quarters of all microprocessors that run computers using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. AMD is its only real rival.


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