As suspected, the European Union formally lodged antitrust charges against Intel, accusing the CPU maker of using illegal methods to compete against its main rival AMD. "I can confirm the statement of objections has been sent," European Commission spokesperson Ton Van Lierop said in a statement given to Reuters. This action represents the culmination of years of antitrust investigation by the EU—and is likely beginning of a very unpleasant experience for Intel. While the exact Statement of Objection (SO) has not yet been made public, the EU charges that Intel used illegal methods to coerce OEM computer manufacturers to ship systems with Intel rather than AMD processors.
The investigation in Europe has been going on for a long time. Intel's European offices were raided by EU investigators in 2005. Last year, AMD filed a formal complaint with the Bundeskartellamt, the German Federal Cartel Office, accusing a German and Intel of entering into an agreement under which the German retailer would only sell Intel PCs in exchange for undisclosed payments from Intel. The EC quickly took over that investigation from the Bundeskartellamt.
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