Intel may face EU antitrust battle

4 Oct 2006

Chip manufacturer Intel, which employs over 4,000 people in Ireland, may soon find itself facing a legal battle with the European Commission. The commission is preparing formal antitrust charges alleging the company abused its dominant market position.

The charges being prepared will allege that Intel has undermined competition by offering rebates to computer manufacturers that shut out its rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

According to this morning’s Financial Times, the European Commission is also understood to be preparing charges alleging that Intel is engaged in predatory pricing aimed at keeping AMD’s competing chips out of the market.

The EU’s top antitrust regulator has been investigating Intel’s conduct for over six years.

According to the Financial Times, a draft “statement of objections” containing the objections has circulated internally within the European Commission for several weeks but has yet to be given the green light by the EU competition commissioner Neeilie Kroes.

The commission’s investigation into Intel began in 2000 after AMD filed a complaint.

Officials investigating Intel are understood to have gathered a large amount of incriminating material following a series of raids against the group and several computer manufacturers.

By John Kennedy