Intel boss says business is 'superstrong' but regulator is 'troubling'

Otellini in two minds about Europe

In a recent interview with BusinessWeek, Intel CEO Paul Otellini has revealed that the European market is doing very nicely for Intel, but he appears to question the motives behind EC Competition Commissioner Neely Kros’ investigation of Intel’s business practices.

"From a business standpoint, Europe was superstrong this quarter. There’s been a big drive toward notebooks. It’s the latest fashion statement, particularly in Germany and the UK," he said. Fashion statement? OK.

On the subject of the EU’s antitrust allegations against Intel, Otellini was suspicious. "Their basic argument is that we sold under cost. [That argument] is flawed," he said. He also seemed to think that the whole premise of the allegation was "very troubling," adding: "If they take that position with us, or Qualcomm, or Microsoft, which are all American, I might note, you wonder where they’re going long-term. They could redefine what ‘success’ means."

The inference seems to be that he suspects anti-American bias on the part of the EU. But no companies spring to mind, that are in positions of near monopoly, that aren’t American. Perhaps that’s not a coincidence.

There was one more amusing quote in the interview. When asked about the findings of a recent poll asking people what they want for Christmas, Otellini replied: "PCs trumped happiness and peace. That’s good news for us."

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