The European Commission yesterday imposed a fine of $1.45 billion on Intel as punishment for what it felt was anticompetitive behavior designed to push rival AMD out of the market. While Intel’s Paul Otellini has said the company will be appealing the fine AMD fully supports the decision, of course, and maintains that Intel’s pricing practices broke the law.
"After an exhaustive investigation, the EU came to one conclusion--Intel broke the law and consumers were hurt," Tom McCoy, AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs, said in a statement. "With this ruling, the industry will benefit from an end to Intel's monopoly-inflated pricing and European consumers will enjoy greater choice, value and innovation."
In an official statement, AMD's president and CEO, Dirk Meyer labeled the ruling an important step toward restoring the market's competitive conditions:
"Today's ruling is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market," said Meyers. "AMD has consistently been a technology innovation leader and we are looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers," he finished.
Intel maintains that it acted well within legal boundaries by offering rebates to manufacturers who agreed to obtain the majority of their processors from Intel as well as paying manufacturers to either delay or cancel the launch of AMD-based products.
This week, speculation has been mounting as to whether or not Intel will face the same level of scrutiny at home following statements from Christine Varney, the DOJ's top antitrust official. In a speech to the Center for American Progress, Varney said the Department of Justice will be "aggressively pursuing cases where monopolists try to use their dominance in the marketplace to stifle competition and harm consumers.”
[UPDATED] Edited to include comments form AMD's Dirk Meyer.