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EU Inside Intel: Antitrust Raids

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Computing processor giant Intel continues to wade through antitrust and monopoly charges levied against them by AMD. Today, the EU antitrust authorities raided Intel’s offices in Swindon, England and in Munich looking for evidence in the antitrust suit.

AMD claimed they got bad Intel charging the largest processor company in the world severely limited their ability to conduct business. They said Intel forced companies not to use AMD product by not shipping owed product, paying bonuses, etc. Japan’ Fair Trade Commission already found them liable for coercing Sony and other manufacturers into using just Intel products.

Intel said from their offices in Santa Monica, California that they are cooperating on the investigation but won’t comment further other than to say their business practices are both fair and lawful. AMD believes otherwise.

AMD filed lawsuit in U.S. federal court earlier this month charging antitrust violating but the U.S. hasn’t made antitrust cases of any kind a priority at this moment, emphasizing mergers and cartels.

Many of the charges don’t put Intel in “fair and lawful category though. The lawsuit filed in U.S. court says Intel hammered companies like IBM, Dell, HP, Compaq and others in backroom deals, offering them bribes, threatening to withhold products, etc. Similar to practices the Japanese Fair Trade Commission found in their decision regarding Japanese companies.

Apparently, the EU commission investigating the matter has been working on the case for over four years but when AMD gave them some new fuel in the fire, they started pushing the case again and it would seem to have been good information since the EU raided offices this morning.

AMD filed a lawsuit in Japan for $55 million after the Fair Trade Commission’s ruling after commission noted that Intel had coerced all Hitachi, Sony, NEC Corp, Fujitsu and Toshiba. In the U.S. lawsuit, 38 companies are mentioned.

As the EU continues its investigation, once can only speculate the direction of the U.S. lawsuit. AMD looks for a similar time frame to the Microsoft antitrust suit.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

EU Inside Intel: Antitrust Raids
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