EU Posts Sordid Details of Intel Antitrust Case

Paul Lilly

Earlier this year, the European Commission nailed Intel with a record setting $1.45 billion fine for what it construed as anticompetitive practices, and on Monday the EC published a non-confidential version of its Intel Decision laying out all the details that led to the hefty fine.

The EC seems to have taken particular exception to conditional rebates offered by Intel, listing no less than five scenarios, including rebates to Dell from December 2002 to December 2005 in exchange for purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs. But according to the paper, Intel also dangled the conditional carrot in front of Acer, HP, NEC, Lenovo, and Media Saturn Holding during various times from 2002 up until as recently as 2007.

Not only did Intel dictate how much AMD-based product each OEM could sell, but the chip maker also had clear directions on how AMD systems could be sold, according to the paper. For example, Intel payments to Acer were conditioned on Acer postponing the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004. Lenovo was also advised to postpone a notebook launch, while payments to HP were conditioned on the OEM selling AMD-based business desktops only to small and medium enterprises, and only via direct distribution channels.

And that's only a portion of the paper. Get all the gory details here , then tell us whether you think the $1.45 billion fine was warranted or if Intel was doing what any company in its position would do.

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