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Intel faces EU Antitrust regulator investigation

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March 10, 2009 6:40:04 AM

Intel faces EU Antitrust regulator investigation
Sean Ridgeley - Monday, March 9th, 2009 | 11:16AM (PT)

Fine and pricing restructuring may be in order

Microsoft isn't the only one getting slapped around by the EU Antitrust regulators (a.k.a. the European Comission) -- Intel is also on the bill for flexing its power a little too much, endangering fair competition. However, a bigger worry on the corporation's mind no doubt isn't a large fine (up to 10% of its annual revenue), but a forced new pricing model:

"Will the Commission impose something that would destroy their pricing model, open up the market to competition and new entrants or to AMD? That is what they would be worried about, more than their reputation or anything else," said Michael Tscherny, a former Commission official, now partner at European affairs consultancy Gplus Europe.

Part of the scheming, the Commission says, stems from Intel's rebates, which they cite as an attempt to suppress AMD's share in the industry. Turns out Intel agreed to give out the rebates to computer makers (Apple?) so long as they obtained most or all of their chips from the company. Intel has denied as such, saying its conduct has been law-abiding and beneficial to clients and customers.

A ruling will soon be made; analysts are leaning toward's the EU on this one, saying this fine could top the one laid on Microsoft for a similar offence in 2004 at $500 million. The figure isn't expected to slow down Intel much, but act more as a deterrent.

"They fined Microsoft. Yes, it hurt their image, but it didn't hurt their cash balance and their market share is still almost at the same level," said John Dryden, analyst at Charter Equity Research in San Francisco.

Of course, operating system choices are limited on the PC, whereas processors, motherboards and the like are plentiful. If people buy less Intel as a result, maybe reputation will become a big worry, despite what Tscherny thinks.

http://www.neoseeker.com/news/10073-intel-faces-eu-anti...
March 10, 2009 7:01:52 AM

Another money grab by the Socialists.
March 10, 2009 7:05:06 AM

(Astonishing)
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March 10, 2009 8:13:56 AM

"Of course, operating system choices are limited on the PC, whereas processors, motherboards and the like are plentiful"

I don't remember my choice of CPU manufacturer EVER being plentiful!
March 10, 2009 2:19:15 PM

wow, so many people have the same join date on this forum!
a b à CPUs
March 10, 2009 2:44:22 PM

And in more relevant news: Moody's List of Riskiest Companies

Quote:
In an attempt to render itself useful, Moody’s Investors Services (MCO) is issuing a list dubbed "The Bottom Rung," cataloguing the riskiest 15% of all companies it tracks. The effort, which the company claims is an attempt to get ahead of the looming mountain of corporate defaults, has already ruffled a few feathers.

...

Among the list of allegedly shaky companies: Familiar names like Ford (F), General Motors (GM) and Chrysler made the cut, along with airlines AMR Corp (AMR) and US Airways (LCC). Retailers, restaurants and even a few energy firms also appeared in this corporate hall of shame, in addition to chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and chemical manufacturer Georgia Gulf Corp (GGC).



AMD's Q1 report will be out in about a month from now, and we should see how the $700M cash infusion boosted their bottom line, plus spinning off about $1.1B of their ATI debt. I believe they are still responsible for over $4B of the ATI debt however, so it's not like AMD is out of the woods yet - more like just one leg might be out of the woods.

a c 113 à CPUs
March 10, 2009 3:00:48 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
And in more relevant news: Moody's List of Riskiest Companies
~~snip~~



You glossed over the overwhelming point of the article: Moody's may well be the biggest bunch of ass-hats in the history of the Universe ...

Quote:
Moody’s, along with fellow ratings agencies Standard and Poor’s (MHP) and Fitch Ratings Services, played a major role in the recent financial market meltdown. Conflicts of interest with debt issuers, faulty models and lax internal controls all led to credit ratings that were unreliable at best, deceptive at worst.

Unfortunately for Moody’s, gone are the days when investors valued haphazard assessments of credit risk. The Bottom Rung, while generating ample work for Moody’s customer-complaints department, isn’t likely to reclaim any of the company’s lost glory.

When a firm that specializes in assessing whether borrowers will repay their debts fails to see the biggest wave of defaults in a generation, it’s safe to say that company isn’t very good at its job.

a b à CPUs
March 10, 2009 8:28:48 PM

Wisecracker said:
You glossed over the overwhelming point of the article: Moody's may well be the biggest bunch of ass-hats in the history of the Universe ...

Quote:
Moody’s, along with fellow ratings agencies Standard and Poor’s (MHP) and Fitch Ratings Services, played a major role in the recent financial market meltdown. Conflicts of interest with debt issuers, faulty models and lax internal controls all led to credit ratings that were unreliable at best, deceptive at worst.

Unfortunately for Moody’s, gone are the days when investors valued haphazard assessments of credit risk. The Bottom Rung, while generating ample work for Moody’s customer-complaints department, isn’t likely to reclaim any of the company’s lost glory.

When a firm that specializes in assessing whether borrowers will repay their debts fails to see the biggest wave of defaults in a generation, it’s safe to say that company isn’t very good at its job.


The part I did quote stated "allegedly shaky". However, the part you quoted is mainly just editorializing on the author's part, not news.

What is news is the fact that Moody's saw fit to put AMD on the list. Since the market in general still pays attention to Moody's creditworthiness ratings, what that means is that AMD will struggle to obtain funding -- either make overly generous deals or sell off parts of itself to weather the economic crisis.

!