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It dwarfs the 497m euro fine levied on Microsoft in 2004 for abusing its dominant market position.
The Commission found that between 2002 and 2007, Intel had paid manufacturers and a retailer to favour its chips over those of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Intel has announced that it will appeal against the verdict.
With that sort of money, Intel will be financing the whole European commission for a few years then! Well, actually, its about 3 months.
[edited by: Seb7 at 5:18 pm (utc) on May 13, 2009]
I agree that that funding the EU is inappropriate, most of the fine (80%) should be paid to AMD. Now that really would upset Intel.
As a matter or principle, companies should not be allowed to use a position of market dominance to strike secret deals to stifle the competition. It is impossible to argue that such deals favour consumers, therefore fines should be heavy. If it were up to me, I would lock up the culprits for 5-10 years.
[edited by: Hugene at 8:01 pm (utc) on May 13, 2009]
There are many things a company does, and can legally do, when it's NOT in a "dominant position" in a market -- but that become coercive (and therefore appropriately illegal) when done by a monopolist.
Purchasing agreements that "exclude" competitors are HIGH on that list.
this type of judgement opens Google to similar lawsuitsHow, why?
If google operated a policy of discriminating against sites that have adverts provided by the likes of Yahoo, then Google could find themselves in the dock, and rightly so, but if they avoids such actions, then they have nothing to worry about.
Target: Intel, and Competition [online.wsj.com]
But Ms. Varney can be sure of a friendly ear in Brussels, which has never let go of the idea that competition is best when there isn't much of it. The Commission's attitude is on full display in the fining of Intel for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market for computer processors. For years, Intel and AMD have been essentially the only game in town for computer CPUs. The Commission's complaint amounts to little more than a whinge that Intel won more of this business than the Commission would prefer.
I think the US should sue the EU because the EU has a monopoly on suing big companies.
The thing is if Intel wants to sell in the EU, it'll have to play by the rules of the EU regarding competition. And After MSFT was slammed a few times already for similar abuse, Intel had been given ample warning. Let's not forget the commission is known for slapping countries that don;t play within the rules, so slapping a company isn't that difficult, even if it's a big one.
Airlines better watch out ... as do Telcos both are being watched for practices towards consumers that aren't kosher and they'll get increasingly important threat of action if they don't comply.