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Intel Claims Flawed Evidence in $1.3 billion EU Antitrust Case

By - Source: Reuters | B 68 comments

Intel is not content with a 1.06 billion Euro (about $1.34 billion) fine it was handed by EU antitrust regulators.

The fine was the result of an investigation based on allegations that Intel used unfair monopolistic powers against AMD. However, Intel is not rolling over and paying the fine just yet, stating that the EU's analysis is "defective" and relied on a "quality of evidence" that is "profoundly inadequate".

In May 2009, the EU slapped Intel with a record fine that was based on 4.15 percent of Intel's 2008 revenue. Even if the EU said that this was less than the "allowable maximum" of 10 percent, the fine was unprecedented and the EU did not miss an opportunity to provoke a challenging reaction from Intel. For example, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes preempted previous discussions about a likely appeal by stating: "I'd like to draw your attention to Intel's latest advert calling them sponsors of tomorrow, now they are sponsors of the European taxpayer."

As the appeal process begins, Intel has filed a 84-page document against the 542-page decision provided by the EU. According to Reuters, Intel claims that the commission does not have enough evidence to rule on any wrongdoing on the side of Intel "and relied too much on subjective comments by the company's customers." However, the EU maintained that Intel is guilty Intel gave out unfair rebates to retail chains and PC makers that put its rivals at a disadvantage.

"These kind of rebates can only be intended to tie customers and put competitors in an unfavorable position," the Commission's lawyer argued.

A ruling could be expected within a few months, but Intel has another option available should it fail with the current appeal process: It can take its fight to the the EU Court of Justice.

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  • 28 Hide
    erunion , July 9, 2012 1:47 AM
    Three prisoners were sitting in a jail, found guilty of "economic crimes" and were also comparing stories.
    The first one said, "I charged higher prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of profiteering, monopolizing and exploiting consumers."

    The second one said, "I charged lower prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of predatory pricing, cutthroat competing and under-charging."

    The third prisoner said, "I charged the same prices as my competitors, and I was found guilty of collusion, price leadership and cartelization."
  • 24 Hide
    Unolocogringo , July 9, 2012 2:08 AM
    Why is it when a company is found guilty of these types of charges the government gets the money? Not the people the companys ripped off ?
  • 23 Hide
    egmccann , July 9, 2012 2:26 AM
    For those asking why rebates are bad, I point you back to the article. Specifically, the word before "rebates" - namely, "unfair."

    You have to dig back a few articles, but this is where it sounds like they say rebates get unfair:
    Quote:

    Intel denies charges related to rebates offered as long as manufacturers agreed to obtain the majority of their processors from Intel as well as paying them to either to delay or cancel the launch of AMD based products.


    So it's not just, say, 100% price for 1-5, 95% for 5-10, 90% for 10-20, 80% for 20-50 or some such (which is just a simplified progression for illustration,) but (say) 75% of cost "as long as you cancel the other guy's orders."
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    amuffin , July 9, 2012 1:09 AM
    Stop it, just stop it with the lawsuits.
  • 21 Hide
    fb39ca4 , July 9, 2012 1:13 AM
    They may or may not deserve this, but it would be terrible if they got AMD out of the CPU business.
  • 28 Hide
    erunion , July 9, 2012 1:47 AM
    Three prisoners were sitting in a jail, found guilty of "economic crimes" and were also comparing stories.
    The first one said, "I charged higher prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of profiteering, monopolizing and exploiting consumers."

    The second one said, "I charged lower prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of predatory pricing, cutthroat competing and under-charging."

    The third prisoner said, "I charged the same prices as my competitors, and I was found guilty of collusion, price leadership and cartelization."
  • 8 Hide
    Onus , July 9, 2012 1:56 AM
    Whatever Intel may or may not have done, the only certainty here is that parasites will get paid, without having produced anything of value for it.
  • 16 Hide
    TeKEffect , July 9, 2012 1:57 AM
    erunionThree prisoners were sitting in a jail, found guilty of "economic crimes" and were also comparing stories. The first one said, "I charged higher prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of profiteering, monopolizing and exploiting consumers." The second one said, "I charged lower prices than my competitors, and I was found guilty of predatory pricing, cutthroat competing and under-charging." The third prisoner said, "I charged the same prices as my competitors, and I was found guilty of collusion, price leadership and cartelization."


    Ha I like that one. Not enough jokes in Toms comments
  • 24 Hide
    Unolocogringo , July 9, 2012 2:08 AM
    Why is it when a company is found guilty of these types of charges the government gets the money? Not the people the companys ripped off ?
  • -5 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 2:10 AM
    Doesn't AMD give small rebates to people whom buy new FX CPUs? I find it hard to call rebates monopolistic. Intel has done ill practices in the past and they may even be committing to such actions today, but I don't think that I'd call rebates one of them. I most certainly doubt that Intel would even risk letting AMD fail given the situation that Intel is in with the anti-trust lawsuits.
  • 16 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 2:25 AM
    Anonymous_26I see nothing wrong with what they did. Rebates aren't monopolistic if they are then every company from Intel down to the local supermarket should be sued. Why does it put AMD at a disadvantage because they didn't think of it you ask me I call it smart business. I'm so sick of hearing people cry about Intel. “WAAA! WAAA! Intel is abusing their position! WAA! Their not playing fair! WAA! WAA!” You know what AMD and everyone else out there Get over it! If you want to be successful in American business, you have got to play dirty. Companies should play fair, but it doesn’t work that way. No one gets to the top in American business without playing dirty. If you can’t handle it then roll over and die already


    I didn't see anything in the article that so much as implied that AMD was whining. This looks like it was entirely the EU's choice. Furthermore, "playing dirty" is no excuse for illegal activity when it actually happens and this happens often, especially in the American business markets. If you can't at least almost always obey the laws, then you shouldn't be in business where those laws are in effect.
  • 23 Hide
    egmccann , July 9, 2012 2:26 AM
    For those asking why rebates are bad, I point you back to the article. Specifically, the word before "rebates" - namely, "unfair."

    You have to dig back a few articles, but this is where it sounds like they say rebates get unfair:
    Quote:

    Intel denies charges related to rebates offered as long as manufacturers agreed to obtain the majority of their processors from Intel as well as paying them to either to delay or cancel the launch of AMD based products.


    So it's not just, say, 100% price for 1-5, 95% for 5-10, 90% for 10-20, 80% for 20-50 or some such (which is just a simplified progression for illustration,) but (say) 75% of cost "as long as you cancel the other guy's orders."
  • 20 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 2:35 AM
    egmccannFor those asking why rebates are bad, I point you back to the article. Specifically, the word before "rebates" - namely, "unfair." You have to dig back a few articles, but this is where it sounds like they say rebates get unfair:So it's not just, say, 100% price for 1-5, 95% for 5-10, 90% for 10-20, 80% for 20-50 or some such (which is just a simplified progression for illustration,) but (say) 75% of cost "as long as you cancel the other guy's orders."


    Well, now that would be unfair, monopolistic, and deserving of such a fine as the EU's ~$1.3B fine.
  • 10 Hide
    jamie_1318 , July 9, 2012 2:43 AM
    For people who don't understand why rebates can be monopolistic, it's not all that complicated.

    Because Intel is a large and mature company, it can lower prices to cost and prevent any one else from getting into the business and force others out of the business. Obviously this isn't a fair thing to do because once it's finished Intel can assume a monopoly and suppress competition. The whole idea of the rule is to ensure fair competition between companies and an open market.

    blazorthonDoesn't AMD give small rebates to people whom buy new FX CPUs? I find it hard to call rebates monopolistic. Intel has done ill practices in the past and they may even be committing to such actions today, but I don't think that I'd call rebates one of them. I most certainly doubt that Intel would even risk letting AMD fail given the situation that Intel is in with the anti-trust lawsuits.


    The difference is that Intel's are given out to OEMs on mass, and are likely larger rebates, plus Intel is the larger company.


    Whether this fine is legitimate or not is another issue altogether and I have no idea whether they are fair charges or not.
  • 19 Hide
    andy_newton , July 9, 2012 2:52 AM
    Just ban Intel from doing any business in EU countries until the fine is paid--End of story.

    No further need to put more money in Lawyers' pockets.
  • -4 Hide
    ashinms , July 9, 2012 3:05 AM
    Just stop bickering and pay the goddam fine already, you fucking child.
  • 15 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 3:11 AM
    Anonymous_26Please that's such a load. You are living in an idealistic fantasy world. You aren't going to stop it and you don't get on top by playing nice in the business world. It's a cut throat world and you do what you have to be on top. Like I said if you can't handle it roll over and die already.


    Giving in to needless savagery just because you are too lethargic about it to actually get off your ass and do something about it, no matter how small, is inexcusable, not that you'd actually care enough about being excused for your intentional ignorance and apparent laziness about this problem. We're sentient beings, at least more or less, not mindless insects. If you don't want to act like it, then you could at least do the courtesy of not acting like it's justified or even worse, that it should be acceptable that it's not justified, yet you don't mind it anyway.

    I don't mean to offend, but you're the one living in a fantasy world. The difference is that you don't see to care about improving anything, but I at least recognize and accept the existence of the issues, even if I don't go about forcing change on everyone involved. Your "roll over and die already" idea seems to be more like what you're doing given the circumstances. The world isn't cut-throat at all, but some of the people within it are. They are the problem and the problem can be solved if people put enough effort into the right places. However, humanity seems to be eternally bounded with greed and corruption, so it's not like we can get rid of these issues permanently, but that's no excuse for doing nothing about them.

    Regardless, philosophizing isn't really the point of this article, nor should it be. This sort of thing shouldn't need to be explained because it should not only already be known, but it should be unnecessary. If Intel is truly doing something illegal, then there should be consequences of some sort for it and no one's philosophical ideals should change that fact nor should they change the specific consequences unless there is something wrong with the law. The world is arguably unfair, but we should combat this by attempting to at least be fair to each other. The punishment should fit the crime without violating any rights that a person is given by our laws. This is probably not an easy way out of this, but the easy ways are not necessarily the right ways and should not be treated as such unless that is what they are.

    Point is that without even including basic philosophy in the equation, Intel should be fairly investigated on this matter. If they are found guilty of overly monopolistic practices, then they should be treated accordingly and as the laws permit. Given Intel's history of known monopolistic practices, they might be engaging in actions that aren't legal or shouldn't be legal and there's nothing wrong with suspecting them. If they truly are, then they already know their consequences, at least to an extent, thanks to the EU.

    Perhaps you forget that getting on top of the business world should not be as important as doing so without screwing other people over in the process. The entire foundations for countries such as the USA were on fair business practices and if businesses can't abide by them, then they should be treated as the laws requires.
  • 10 Hide
    fb39ca4 , July 9, 2012 3:15 AM
    Intel should pay me to not use AMD in my next build!
  • 0 Hide
    ashinms , July 9, 2012 3:15 AM
    Gettem blaze, getem!
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