A record fine of over a billion euros has been imposed on Intel, the computer chipmaker, by the European Commission for anti-competitive practices.
Intel has also been ordered to stop illegal rebates and other tactics designed to squeeze out its rival Advanced Micro Devices, which first lodged a complaint in the year 2000. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “Intel abused its dominant position. Specifically Intel used illegal, anti-competitive practices to exclude essentially its only competitor, and for this abusive behaviour, the Commission has fined Intel one billion and sixty million euros.” The EU antitrust fine is the biggest imposed on an individual company, exceeding an 896-million euro penalty last year against glass maker Saint-Gobain for price fixing, and a 497-million euro fine in 2004 on Microsoft for abuse of dominance. The EU executive said Intel paid computer manufacturers to cancel plans to launch products containing AMD chips. It also handed out illegal secret rebates so computer makers would favour Intel chips – and paid a major retailer to stock computers fitted with Intel chips only. Intel plans to appeal the decision.