US computer chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Wednesday welcomed the decision by EU antitrust regulators to fine rival Intel a record 1.06 billion euros (1.45 billion dollars).
"Today's ruling is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market," AMD president and chief executive Dirk Meyer said in a statement.
"AMD has consistently been a technology innovation leader and we are looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers."
"After an exhaustive investigation, the EU came to one conclusion -- Intel broke the law and consumers were hurt," added Tom McCoy, AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs.
"With this ruling, the industry will benefit from an end to Intel's monopoly-inflated pricing and European consumers will enjoy greater choice, value and innovation," McCoy said.
The US Chamber of Commerce meanwhile expressed concern that the EU move against Intel, which follows similar actions against US software giant Microsoft, was "part of a larger, troubling pattern."
"Fines by the commission have escalated in size in recent years, raising serious concerns about due process and the method for determining these huge fines," said Myron Brilliant, senior vice president for international affairs.
"Huge fines demand greater due process protections," he said. "The current EU guidelines for determining fine amounts are too vague."
The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said the ruling against Intel was "not a great surprise since it follows similar decisions by Japanese and Korean competition authorities in recent years."
The CCIA added that the Intel decision in Europe "has many in Washington wondering whether US action may soon follow," especially after the Obama administration this week pledged to step up antitrust enforcement.
"A convincing picture has emerged revealing that Intel's actions were unquestionably strategically premeditated to be anti-competitive and willfully illegal," said CCIA president Ed Black.
"A vigorous US investigation focused on the evidence in the case leaves us believing Intel will have its day of reckoning in the US as well," he added.
The European Commission, Europe's top competition watchdog, accused Intel of using illegal loyalty rebates to squeeze rivals out of the market for computer processing units -- the brains inside personal computers.
The Santa Clara, California-based company dominates the 22-billion-euro (30-billion-dollar) market for so-called x86 CPUs with a 70-percent share during the more than five years it was accused of breaking EU antitrust rules.
"Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said. "Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU's antitrust rules cannot be tolerated."
The commission said that Intel had used wholly or partially hidden rebates to get PC makers such as Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC to buy all or almost all their CPU supply from Intel instead of AMD.
Intel rejected the charges and said it will appeal the EU ruling.
Intel's share price was holding steady in New York on Wednesday, trading unchanged from the opening at 15.21 dollars at 1600 GMT.