Intel Offices Raided By European Commission
Today, two weeks after AMD filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, the European Commission began raiding Intel’s offices in England, Spain, Ital, and Germany.
Intel’s offices aren’t the only ones being raided, however. Offices of other companies that make and/or sell computers are being raided by the European Commission as well.
“DG Competition officials, accompanied by officials from national competition authorities are conducting inspections of several premises of Intel Corp. in Europe as well as a number of IT firms manufacturing or selling computers,” said EU spokesman Jonathan Todd. “The investigations are being carried out within the framework of an ongoing competition case.” AP explains:
Last year, the commission sent formal notices to France, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Italy and Germany seeking information on government procurement tenders for computers that either require they contain Intel chips or specify a chip speed only the U.S. giant can provide. That investigation was sparked by Advanced Micro Devices.
EU antitrust regulators reached a preliminary conclusion in 2002 that there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges. But in June 2004, regulators said they would look into Intel’s business practices again after AMD refused to withdraw its complaint.
AMD’s lawsuit accuses Intel of bullying 38 computer manufacturers into using their chips instead of AMD’s. Intel says that AMD is making this up because they aren’t doing as well.
In the meantime, Intel plans to fully co-operate with authorities, as the investigations continue. Why wouldn’t they if they have nothing to hide, right? “Intel’s normal practice is to attempt to co-operate with regulatory authorities,” said a U.K. spokesman for Intel.