European Commission turns up the antitrust heat on Intel

Just because AMD is in financial trouble doesn’t mean Intel isn’t facing problems of its own. Following the original Statement of Objections it filed against Intel in July 2007, the European Commission has filed a Supplementary Statement of Objections (SSO) that adds three brand new accusations to the mix. The EU press release details the new allegations:

First, Intel has provided substantial rebates to a leading European personal computer (PC) retailer conditional on it selling only Intel-based PCs. Secondly, Intel made payments in order to induce a leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to delay the planned launch of a product line incorporating an AMD-based CPU. Thirdly, in a subsequent period, Intel has provided substantial rebates to that same OEM conditional on it obtaining all of its laptop CPU requirements from Intel.

The SSO also includes “additional factual elements” related to the objections in the July 2007 document. The Commission acknowledges the preliminary nature of its analysis, but it says it already considers that “all the types of conduct reinforce each other and are part of a single overall anti-competitive strategy aimed at excluding AMD or limiting its access to the market.”

Intel must respond to the SSO within eight weeks. If the chipmaker doesn’t make a good enough case, the Commission “may decide to require Intel to cease the abuse and may impose a fine.”

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