THE EU COMMISSION is expected to slap Intel with a heavy fine as early as Wednesday over its alleged anticompetitive actions against AMD. Reuters reports that the EU hasn't indicated how big the fine might be.
The EU Competition Commission can fine a company as much as 10 per cent of its annual revenue and in Intel's case that could mean a fine of up to $3.8 billion based on its 2008 revenue. That would be more than triple the $1.16 billion in total that the EU extracted from Microsoft for non-compliance in its long-running antitrust action against the Vole.
The commission is reportedly amazed at the extent that Intel leaned on PC vendors to prevent AMD from gaining market share. It is expected to find that Intel offered rebates or other inducements to computer manufacters in exchange for limiting their use of AMD chips or promises to use Intel chips exclusively, and that Intel even paid PC makers to delay or cancel their plans to sell models that contained AMD processors.
It is anticipated that the commission might be inclined to make a cautionary example of Chipzilla.
Even if the EU declares that it will fine Intel it is unlikely that will be the end of the matter. Intel has consistently denied the EU Commission's allegations and is expected to appeal any penalty imposed. µ
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