Intel attacks EU antitrust report

Otellini blasts 518-page European Commission document
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Otellini blasts 518-page European Commission document

Intel is once again firing back accusations at the EU in an extraordinary row over a record $1.45 billion antitrust fine.

In May the European Commission slapped Intel with the £948 million penalty after ruling that the chipmaker was guilty of illegally cutting off business opportunities to market rival AMD.

Intel aggressively appealed the ruling and is set for a showdown with the EU in court.

But before both groups settle their matters before a judge, yesterday the European Commission hit out at Intel again, releasing a damning 518-page report that thoroughly detailed its decision to fine the company.

Now Intel President Paul Otellini has fired back at the EU once again, claiming the Commission has “consistently ignored information”.

Otellini said that there was “nothing new” in yesterdays’ EU report.

“We don't do exclusive deals and when our time comes we will show that. The EU can release evidence early, something we cannot do,” he added.

“We have customers who are willing to state that that was wrong.

"I continue to believe and assert they have got it wrong. We have appealed and we will win on appeal."

AMD made its first antitrust complaint to the EU regarding the issue back in 2000. Seven years later the European Commission ordered raids on Intel’s offices.

Intel enjoys around 80 per cent of the market as opposed to the 20 per cent held by longstanding rival AMD.

The EU documents claim that Intel put pressure on various computer manufacturers to avoid or postpone the use of AMD processors.

The report cites an email, sent back in December 2006, from a senior executive at Chinese IT group Lenovo.

"Late last week Lenovo cut a lucrative deal with Intel. As a result of this, we will not be introducing AMD-based products in 2007 for our Notebook products," the email allegedly read.

The EU adds that it has evidence from a number of companies – including Dell and Hewlett Packard – stating they were influenced by Intel to avoid using AMD tech.

AMD was quick to back the EU’s newest attack on Intel.

"The EU evidence was a validation of what we've been saying for years," said Patrick Moorhead, VP of advanced marketing at AMD.

"Intel uses monopolistic power to coerce customers in the channel. Intel's now zero for three; it hasn't won a single antitrust case worldwide."