EU Fines Intel Record $1.45B

Chip maker paid firms to use its chips, commission says
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 13, 2009 7:28 AM CDT
European Union Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes gestures while talking to the media during a joint press conference at the EU Commission headquarter in Brussels, Wednesday May 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Thierry Charlier.)
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(Newser) – The EU is fining Intel $1.45 billion for violating antitrust laws—a record amount that far exceeds the €497 million ($680 million) fine levied against Microsoft in 2004, the BBC reports. The EU competition commission said Intel paid manufacturers and a retailer to give its chips a leg up over AMD’s between 2002 and 2007. The company responded: “There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. We will appeal.”

Dell, HP, Lenovo, and other top firms received rebates for giving preference to Intel chips, the commission found, and a top European retailer was paid to sell only Intel-based computers. “Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years,” the commissioner said. She joked that Intel should change its slogan from “sponsors of tomorrow” to “sponsor of the European taxpayer.”