EU Raids Intel looking for unfair play against rival AMD

European Union antitrust regulators have raided Intel's Munich office in Germany seeking evidence they may have broken rules to ensure competition in the market for computer chips. Additional raids were carried out against Britian's DSG group, which owns Dixons, Currys, PC City and PC World.

The surprise inspections were the EU's first major move in response to complaints from smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., alleging that Intel pressed major stores to avoid computers using AMD chips. Intel has said the company would cooperate closely with the investigation.

Intel is already facing formal EU charges of monopoly abuse for below-cost customer rebates and pricing that the EU says undercut AMD and discourage manufacturers from building computers with their chips.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

The Linux Asus Eee PC Ships with Remotely Exploitable Flaw

Next Story

Nvidia announces APX 2500, enters mobile CPU market.

53 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Somebody else who didnt read the article........THIS INVESTIGATION STARTED WHEN INTEL CHIPS SUCKED....

So your statement is completly fanboism

(QuarterSwede said @ #13.2)
By the way, a lot of us aren't in middle/high school anymore. You needn't double space everything.

Some of us arn't in primary school anymore where they complain about things like that.

N.B. I'm far too old for school. And as a system builder, I do build computers with AMD chips inside and I'm all for AMD making something which will kick Intel's A$$ as competition in the market is a good thing!

I guess most people won't read down this far, but I will have my say. I am from the UK, I detest the collectivist EU which is part of the NWO. However, those who think that Intel are being picked on (as many thought Microsoft were), need to find out a few facts about the finance system of the world (read up about the Federal Reserve - who are just one huge private money siphon)

If intel are allowed to become a COMPLETE monopoly, they will screw everyone. That's what happens if the market is allowed a free reign (the Federal Reserve Bank! ) Do some research on David Rockefeller and his family connections with CFR, Bilderberg, the UN and Trilateral Commission "Competition is a sin" - John D. Rockefeller x)

Wake up America, your finances are screwed - you are dead without Chinese money and industrial production, remember these people are "The Reds" you've been fighting for nearly 100 years. Who are you going to choose between McCain or Clinton (possibly Obama). You are being screwed once again. WAKE UP!

Ron Paul, as mad as he may be, is trying to open your eyes to the fact that the USA has been hi-jacked by a relatively small elite group who are bankrupting the US, and will leave the ashes behind them.

WAKE UP!

Just an FYI, Hillary has a snowballs chance in Hell now. Obama will get the Democratic nomination. Not that it really matters because the only one I'd vote for is Huckabee and [i]maybe[/]Ron Paul neither of which have a chance either. The rest, both Dem and Rep, will make awful leaders. Mark my words. This country is going down the toilet FAST.

I don't get it there's plenty of people here defending intel on pretty childish arguments like "its not intel's fault becouse AMD is doing bad", people these are some heavy charges, you don't just make them up, they are based on some evidence(or at least should be)

(neufuse said @ #9)
Japan already raided them a year or so ago for the same thing... where'd that go?

It matters that Japan did something in... what way exactly? Here's a clue for you: Japan isn't part of the EU. Amazing, I know. Learn something new every day, huh?

(A Clockwork Lime said @ #9.1)

It matters that Japan did something in... what way exactly? Here's a clue for you: Japan isn't part of the EU. Amazing, I know. Learn something new every day, huh?
Wha? Why wouldn't it matter?
Because they're Asian?

(A Clockwork Lime said @ #9.1)

It matters that Japan did something in... what way exactly? Here's a clue for you: Japan isn't part of the EU. Amazing, I know. Learn something new every day, huh?

The point is, If they did it and got anywhere, do you think the EU is going to find anything either?

It's not just the EU who are dissapointed with Intel. Just ask the founder of the One Laptop Per Child programme. Intel have been using dirty underhand practises for a while now. It's a real shame because I once respected them.

Hopefully AMD will now get its place back in the market again, which is good news for us consumers. Stronger competition should drive prices even lower.

Should read:

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of Not handing over cash after the EU has spent their Microsoft cash grab"

The EU has no concept of the free market and is proving again they only care about filling up their own pockets.

An American company is successful? OH NO! Let's claim to protect the consumer while we dive in for a cash grab!

(C_Guy said @ #7)
Should read:

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of Not handing over cash after the EU has spent their Microsoft cash grab"

The EU has no concept of the free market and is proving again they only care about filling up their own pockets.

An American company is successful? OH NO! Let's claim to protect the consumer while we dive in for a cash grab!

Whereas the US attitude to Company Law, the one that can bribe us the most is the one we are going to side with.

If it is found that an AMERICAN company operating in the EU has found to have used ILLEGAL business practices against another AMERICAN company in the EU that Intel will deserve everything it gets. And then no one will be able to defend it.

(C_Guy said @ #7)
Should read:

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of Not handing over cash after the EU has spent their Microsoft cash grab"

The EU has no concept of the free market and is proving again they only care about filling up their own pockets.

An American company is successful? OH NO! Let's claim to protect the consumer while we dive in for a cash grab!

Maybe you're unaware that Siemens (a successful German company) got a fair fine recently as well, as a punishment for bribing practices. Don't flatter yourself with the thought that the fines collected from Microsoft support the EU budget, they might look big in your eyes but aren't as big compared to the consolidated budget of either EU or US.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...s%20(Penalties)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7028628.stm

http://healthcareitnews.eu/content/view/71/45/

Second two links are the recent events, and the first shows another fine more than 20 years ago, so don't go saying EU is arbitrarily robbing successful American companies, it might be that the successful American companies (and not only American) are robbing us consumers by trying to establish monopoly or abusing it.

@ Julius Caro. The latter half of your comment makes me believe you missed the sarcasm tag. If you're serious, how exactly would you conclude that when its precisely what the EU wants to conduct investigations into, for lack of proof.

(the_last_rites said @ #6)
@ Julius Caro. The latter half of your comment makes me believe you missed the sarcasm tag. If you're serious, how exactly would you conclude that when its precisely what the EU wants to conduct investigations into, for lack of proof.

You mean you shouldn't be able to investigate unless you already have proof hmmmm

Dont take a police job :-)

Thou I wish Bush shared your opinion 8-)

Before everybody starts with "awww evil and useless EU, always messing with american companies", two things:
- AMD is an american company too
- It's more than obvious than Intel wasn't playing fair, isn't it? Only that would explain why AMD-based computers are nowhere to be found in major retailers. Well, now it is pretty obvious, C2D is totally owning AMD current line up. But it wasn't like that in the past, when AMD kicked ass, and still certain major RETAILERS wouldnt sell amd based computers. One thing is exclusive agreements with PC manufacturers, and another thing is killing the competition in the retail market.

How is it "more than obvious"? Do you have the proof? I don't. Is it under that rock over there? I dunno. All we have here is AMD's word. The EU may have more proof, but it isn't represented here.

In fact, from the wording here, "raided Intel's Munich office in Germany seeking evidence they may have broken rules", it appears that the EU is fishing for evidence too. If they had actual evidence already, they would be pressing charges in court instead of raiding offices.

Fine, I wont go as far as saying that Intel is totally guilty. Not my intention.
All I'm saying is that, as a consumer, I noticed that Media Markt hasn't stocked any AMD based computer (not even laptops if I remember correctly) in YEARS. That's weird. Things like DELL, or Apple, having exclusivity deals with Intel don't bother me, I guess those things are normal. Getting retailers to promote certain products better than others.. okay. Not being able to find the best performing processors (back when they were good), in what's probably the most important computer retailer in europe.. not good.

(Julius Caro said @ #5.3)
Fine, I wont go as far as saying that Intel is totally guilty. Not my intention.
All I'm saying is that, as a consumer, I noticed that Media Markt hasn't stocked any AMD based computer (not even laptops if I remember correctly) in YEARS. That's weird. Things like DELL, or Apple, having exclusivity deals with Intel don't bother me, I guess those things are normal. Getting retailers to promote certain products better than others.. okay. Not being able to find the best performing processors (back when they were good), in what's probably the most important computer retailer in europe.. not good.

I think a lot of Mac fans wanted Jobs to go with AMD rather then Intel, but the decision to go with intel wasn't down to illegal practices in this case but what they was able to offer that AMD wasn't.

Unique Motherboard designs
Intel Integrated graphics
New chips for the iPod and a partnership for new intel technology, something AMD isn't aswell known for.

intel has been known to be doing these things are awhile now
of course capitalist america loves it, and does dick all

the EU on the other hand, doesnt play that game.
now take it hard like a man

You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?

I don't think any large company has a completely blemish-free history, but looking at the current situation, Intel produces better processors at better prices, so AMD, like any struggling threatened company, goes crying to mommy EU and is crutched up. What a bunch of sissies.

(Relativity_17 said @ #4.1)
You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?
But the question is how have we arrived at this situation... was it purely bad business choices by AMD, or was there unfair play involved as well on intel's part?

If there's suspect of the later, and a judge approves, a warrant is served and a raid like this is conducted. But, judgment is reserved for later.

It's very important to any market that anti-competitive practices be discouraged, and in order to do so, the law must be allowed to work.
That is not sissy.

(Relativity_17 said @ #4.1)
You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?

I don't think any large company has a completely blemish-free history, but looking at the current situation, Intel produces better processors at better prices, so AMD, like any struggling threatened company, goes crying to mommy EU and is crutched up. What a bunch of sissies.

Ummm what if intel did wrong, used existing funds to undercut competitors which resulted in lack funds for them develop.

Again = we loose.

(Relativity_17 said @ #4.1)
You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?

I don't think any large company has a completely blemish-free history, but looking at the current situation, Intel produces better processors at better prices, so AMD, like any struggling threatened company, goes crying to mommy EU and is crutched up. What a bunch of sissies.

Again this complaint is from before the C2D or even the Core's. back when AMD was cheaper and better. and again, the complaint isn't about dumping products at sub cost prices, but illegalr contracts and prqctices to keep rivals out.


And AMD is allready selling their CPU's as low as they can get this generation, using the money they used to buy ATI to sell cheaper CPU's don't work, then they'd be using that money to cover loss off selling CPU's below what they cost to make, wich IS illegal.


And remember AMD was hardly struggling at all when this complaint was originally filed, it was before the ATi merger. But EU isn't the fastest to get the ball rolling.

and as for innovating, educate yoruself, as far as the CPU's go in the last generations AMD has been the one doing the innovation with Intel copying AMD's stuff belatedly. AMD was the one who took the whole bill for developing A64 (wich due to cross licensing from x86 Intel got to use freely, and they renamed it to make it seem like their own invention), true multicore CPU's Intel was really slow on doing actual multicore CPU's and instead faked it, on die memory controller...

(HawkMan said @ #4.4)
Again this complaint is from before the C2D or even the Core's. back when AMD was cheaper and better. and again, the complaint isn't about dumping products at sub cost prices, but illegalr contracts and prqctices to keep rivals out.

There is a complaint about price drops that Intel is getting prosecuted for. One again, the EU just seems to like to attack everyone and anyone who every thinks about actually selling products in Europe. AMD is just being more of a crybaby.

(Relativity_17 said @ #4.1)
You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?

I don't think any large company has a completely blemish-free history, but looking at the current situation, Intel produces better processors at better prices, so AMD, like any struggling threatened company, goes crying to mommy EU and is crutched up. What a bunch of sissies.

LOL, and you don't think Intel would do the same? Do you even know what you're talking about?

(Relativity_17 said @ #4.1)
You mean the game where Intel produces a superior product and is able to make it really affordable? Or that AMD made a stupid decision to waste money buying ATi when it could have invested that money into lowering its prices or innovating a bit? Or where AMD products are currently lagging in performance, and can't even make up the difference in price?

I don't think any large company has a completely blemish-free history, but looking at the current situation, Intel produces better processors at better prices, so AMD, like any struggling threatened company, goes crying to mommy EU and is crutched up. What a bunch of sissies.

you mean the game when Intel makes the prices "Affordable for all" by putting the price down to a point where they loose money, everyone goes bust and then they can triple the prices stating "a 5% increase in transistor cost" or something equally absurd and the whole world has to bend over and take it up the a*** as theres no competition to lower it?

Stop being a Fan Boy its got nothing to do with which product is better its about ensuring the better company doesn't abuse its position by drowning all competition. If Intel truly do make the superior product then they shouldn't need to make a loss and abuse that position as the competition will die on its arse anyway.

If you had a company which produced TVs and I came along and brougth a similar product out and because I made millions selling say microwaves I undercut your price to below the price at to which you can even make them at. It would have nothign to do with my product being superior its just as I have depper pockets that you. Eventutally you will go bust ( a company that makes no profit cant afford to trade ) and I can then up the price of my TV to not only its previous price but add another $100. Do you honestly think this is fair trade? Its not and every country has anti-compitition laws inc the US its just the EU are actually investigating it.

Wow, it must be nice to do business in the EU. "Waaa! My competitor makes better products and charges less than me! Waaa!" Don't worry, the EU will destroy anybody that makes a better product so that you can "compete"!

Seriously, does anyone else think the EU is maybe a little overreaching in this respect? I mean what company haven't they gone after recently?

Call me an American bigot, but I personally think that if you make a better product and it costs less, you have the right to a bigger market share and more exclusivity with stores. That forces AMD and others to make their products better and lower their prices.

Wrong.

Reason if you big enough with deep pockets you can loose money in short term to push out competition, result no competitors left = monopoly which in long run they then charge what like which means we all loose.

USA have similar laws.

See the thing is, this complaint is older than the C2D, the actual complaint is from when AMD was on top both on price and performance.

and besides that the EU is investigatying wether intel did pull any illegal tricks to keep AMD out of other retailers, and they don't do this lightly, for EU to even start an investigation, AMD must provide fairly solid proof.


so yeah, I'll call you an American bigot. This isn't about better products ad lower prices, een if dumping your product elow cost to "kill" the competition is illegal as well, that's not what they're investigating.

Did you read the article?

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of monopoly abuse for below-cost customer rebates and pricing that the EU says undercut AMD and discourage manufacturers from building computers with their chips."

Thats exactly what they are investigating. Intel lowered their prices below even what it costs to make in an effort to win customers over the higher priced AMD. Its called a price war. Why is lowering your price illegal? Do you need to sell everything at the same price as your competitor to let them catch up? I thought Europe ran a free-market form of economy, not a government run form.

This is just like when the EU told Microsoft to give up pieces of Windows' source code so the competitors could steal from them and make "competitive" products. Ahh, the EU, "We take your good idea and make you share it with everyone else so they can make money too".

(Chrono951 said @ #3.3)
Did you read the article?

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of monopoly abuse for below-cost customer rebates and pricing that the EU says undercut AMD and discourage manufacturers from building computers with their chips."

Thats exactly what they are investigating.

And it is illegal in every country that bothers with maintaining competition in markets, including the United States.

Also it was Server protocols that MS was made to document so that other machines could communicate with a Windows network rather then being blocked out

(Chrono951 said @ #3.3)
Did you read the article?

"Intel is already facing formal EU charges of monopoly abuse for below-cost customer rebates and pricing that the EU says undercut AMD and discourage manufacturers from building computers with their chips."

Thats exactly what they are investigating. Intel lowered their prices below even what it costs to make in an effort to win customers over the higher priced AMD. Its called a price war. Why is lowering your price illegal? Do you need to sell everything at the same price as your competitor to let them catch up? I thought Europe ran a free-market form of economy, not a government run form.

This is just like when the EU told Microsoft to give up pieces of Windows' source code so the competitors could steal from them and make "competitive" products. Ahh, the EU, "We take your good idea and make you share it with everyone else so they can make money too".

Dude, you're missing the point. It's not about maintaining the same price as other companies. That would be ridiculous. It's about using rebates to put the cost BELOW what it actually costs for the processors, and thus Intel looses money, but gains a larger market share. This is considered undercutting (AFAIK), and the law makes sense. The whole point is to keep businesses from cheaply undercutting a smaller company because they have more cash. Perhaps instead of undercutting, they should make the chips more appealing in other ways. Do you realize the importance of these laws? Monopoly is the LAST thing you want. Unless for some reason you prefer to pay whatever the company decides the price should be, rather than what the market decides it should be, because if Intel was the only option, you can guarantee prices would skyrocket.

And also, its pathetic that Intel would try to convince manufacturers from using AMD chips. While they obviously need to prove why their product is superior, like in any competition, it sounds like they did it with less than respectable ways. Probably involving undercutting, or special deals, what not.

As a consumer, which I'm guessing you are too, competition is the best thing in the world. Do you really think that nice little Q6600 intel has would be under 300$ if it weren't for AMD? You bet your ass it wouldn't be.

(4tehlulz said @ #3.4)
And it is illegal in every country that bothers with maintaining competition in markets, including the United States.

(WICKO said @ #3.6)
Dude, you're missing the point. It's not about maintaining the same price as other companies. That would be ridiculous. It's about using rebates to put the cost BELOW what it actually costs for the processors, and thus Intel looses money, but gains a larger market share. This is considered undercutting (AFAIK), and the law makes sense.

Indeed. It's called dumping and it occurs when usually a larger company provides (dumps) a product in a market with a price charge of the same or bellow the production cost. The company loses partial or even the whole initial investment but effectively wins as it: completely undermines the competition, and addicts the consumers on the product.

I don't know if I said it well, my gf is the advertiser, not me.

It kind of seems like the EU is turning into the new RIAA and MPAA. They're just overexercising their control. It's kinda like how Microsoft had to make specialized "N" versions of vista just for Europe. Well, you know what: Europe would be screwed if Microsoft just said "see ya" and didn't sell products in Europe. I know that would never happen, but you get the point. I would mind Intel undercutting for a while, as you get huge savings processor wise :laugh:, but once the other company is knocked out, the prices would skyrocket.

(tiagosilva29 said @ #3.7)

Indeed. It's called dumping and it occurs when usually a larger company provides (dumps) a product in a market with a price charge of the same or bellow the production cost. The company loses partial or even the whole initial investment but effectively wins as it: completely undermines the competition, and addicts the consumers on the product.

I don't know if I said it well, my gf is the advertiser, not me.

Haha, actually my girlfriend also informed me that it was dumping (finance graduate) but after i had made the post So yeah, thats right then I guess.

(Burst404 said @ #2)
I love the really high quality intel logo you used. :cheeky:

You are (or at least were) correct. We did have a better one (or at least a transparent one) on file. This one is a GIF rather than a JPG.

(Thrawn said @ #1)
Disgusting.

Disgusting that Intel may use unfair business practices or disgusting that the EU would interfere in the free market?

(Fred Derf said @ #1.1)

Disgusting that Intel may use unfair business practices or disgusting that the EU would interfere in the free market?

Disgusting if guilty, AMD we all need thank for price CPU's today.

(Fred Derf said @ #1.1)

Disgusting that Intel may use unfair business practices or disgusting that the EU would interfere in the free market?

well it's only interfering in the free market if you think that there shouldn't be any competition laws. which technically is true but most people would say they are needed to make sure the market is fair for all thus making it possible for the free market to work effectively.

Disgusting that the EU thinks it's such a wonderful organization when all it does it cause problems for other organizations. I guess one day they'll have better things to do than cause trouble and laughs?

Intel didn't pout and whine while AMD was doing well and producing faster chips. AMD should stop whining and start producing something that people want to buy.

I don't think Intel did any of this stuff. Anyone can look at an AMD CPU today and an Intel CPU and easily see what the best product is. Intel is kicking AMD's *** and AMD has no one to blame but themselves.

(Justin- said @ #1.5)
Disgusting that the EU thinks it's such a wonderful organization when all it does it cause problems for other organizations.

Yes, there is obviously not a single thing that the EU has done well! It is purely designed to restrict and punish businesses that are behaving fairly and in accordance with local laws. Thank you for showing us the truth and proving it beyond doubt.