Three US chip-makers could be next targets for trust busters

"The significance of this ruling for the [European] commission is that we have been reinforced and confirmed in our approach in putting consumers before innovation and research and we have been supported in our interpretation of competition policy," Neelie Kroes, EU competition commissioner, told reporters yesterday.

Brussels is now expected to step up its cases against three other US technology groups - Intel, the dominant microprocessor manufacturer, and fellow chip-makers Rambus and Qualcomm. In July she accused Intel of granting illegal rebates, notably in Japan, to capture customers tempted to buy products from smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices, which claims that Intel has won monopoly profits of $60bn over 10 years.

Rambus stands accused of illegally obtaining patents on an industry standard for memory chips and of not properly disclosing these patents when demanding royalty payments from its rivals. Qualcomm, the second-largest maker of chips for mobile phones, faces complaints from Nokia, Ericsson and others that it overcharges for patent royalties for third-generation phones. The EU has yet to open a formal investigation.

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Why is it only other companies are the ones complaining not real consumers? Could it be the consumer has made a choice? Is it a monopoly when consumer choice is the reason a company gets all the business?

To all my American friends (and also those who hate the EU). You obviously have an internet connection!

Please look up "Carroll Quigley" in Wilipedia (a US professor) and read the two pages of text, it may change your life.

Then:

Google "new world order +UN" (less quotation marks! )
Google "Council on Foreign Relations +Rockefeller" (see how many presidents were members )
Google "Chatham House +Rockefeller" (British version of the Council on Foreign Relations )
Google "trilateral commission +Rockefeller"
Google "scull and bones +Rockefeller" (Bush and Kerry are a member of this 600 strong club! )
Google "Bohemian club Bohemian grove"
Google "Bilderberg Group"
Google "Amero +"North American Union"

I have little time for the EU, but it's all part of the same thing: NWO!

Most of the complaints are us Americans as usual reacting to "news" before thinking.


As stated above, all 3 companies are in trouble here and in other countries for the same thing the EU is accusing them of, makes sense that it would happen.

To all you people who hate the EU for no valid reason:

U.S trade panel to probe Qualcomm chips

The U.S. International Trade Commission said Tuesday that it would investigate the claim that some Qualcomm microchips violate patents held by Finish phone maker Nokia.

3rd Circuit Rules on Patent Holders' Antitrust Liability in Qualcomm Case

In a decision that may increase competition in the cell phone industry, a federal appeals court says a patent holder can be sued under antitrust laws for deceptive conduct toward an organization that sets uniform telecommunications standards.

Antitrust Group Encourages Investigation Of Intel

AMD's newest ally in its antitrust battle with Intel is the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), which sent a letter to U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chair Deborah Majoras urging the FTC to formally investigate "Intel’s monopolization conduct in microchips."


South Korea chucks antitrust charges at Intel

South Korean news reports have said the inquiry has focused on allegations Intel ran roughshod over antitrust laws by pressuring computer makers to avoid using chips made by Advanced Micro Devices.


As for the comment about the EU going for US companies, well the technology field is dominated by companies from Silicon Valley, who have huge market share and are abusing it.

So who's going to have a go at the South Koreans now? Or maybe the US FTC, the American antitrust institute or a US federal court? Or are we still going to get this misplaced patriotism?

EDIT: The FTC found Rambus engaged in anticompetitive conduct and violated antitrust law in 2006.

In July she accused Intel of granting illegal rebates, notably in Japan, to capture customers tempted to buy products from smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices, which claims that Intel has won monopoly profits of $60bn over 10 years.

Since when the the EU have jurisdiction over what happens in Japan? If Intel broke the law in Japan, then let the Japanese fight them in court. So if tomorrow the EU passes a law forbidding showering every day, and I break that law here in the US, that means the EU can take me to court? And people do not think that the EU is abusing their power?

It seems weird to me that that the EU (Essentially Useless) are only going after American companies. What about the Asian flash memory makers? Or the Middle Eastern Oil Companies? Seems a little political to me.

Xenon said,
It seems weird to me that that the EU (Essentially Useless) are only going after American companies. What about the Asian flash memory makers? Or the Middle Eastern Oil Companies? Seems a little political to me.

EU - essentially useless? Well not really, infact the 27 european countries acting alone is pretty useless in combatting American (and soon to be Chinese) hegemony, the biggest union of countries and biggest economy, with a currency supported by a bigger economy than the dollar, sounds like an extremely useful idea ... now I wonder why America, would be a tiny bit scared of the EU? hmm ...

They go after loads, I doubt you read about them ... I wonder why

Apparently YOU have never tried to do business within the EU. It is one of the worst bureaucracies in human history. Whenever we do overseas business (which is ALOT). We always have to schedule 75% more time for any project in the EU. It is terrible.

Xenon said,
Apparently YOU have never tried to do business within the EU. It is one of the worst bureaucracies in human history. Whenever we do overseas business (which is ALOT). We always have to schedule 75% more time for any project in the EU. It is terrible.

What company do you work for?

Which EU markets are you in? Which rules and regulations are you finding it takes a lot of time to follow?

Why do there seem to be so many people here who are fine with bending over to big business cartels or monopolies?! Or is this just another example of extreme patriotism gone mad?

You do realise that what has been occurring is against basic free-market principles and results in the consumer having to pay more. Nokia and Ericsson aren't going to soak up the bumped up cost of those chips they're simply going to pass on the cost to the consumer. And if you're alright with that happening in the US that's fine, but don't have a dig at the EU because you're fine with fixed prices.

Why are people so concerned? A company operating within the EU needs to abide by the relevant laws, the same as a company operating within the US.

What about the huge protection afforded to US airlines? And the fact that a foreign company cannot get a majority holding of a US airline? So that's alright, because it's a US law in the US but it's not alright for the EU to protect consumers in the EU? That's some pretty fuzzy logic.

beardedwonder said,
Why do there seem to be so many people here who are fine with bending over to big business cartels or monopolies?! Or is this just another example of extreme patriotism gone mad?

You do realise that what has been occurring is against basic free-market principles and results in the consumer having to pay more. Nokia and Ericsson aren't going to soak up the bumped up cost of those chips they're simply going to pass on the cost to the consumer. And if you're alright with that happening in the US that's fine, but don't have a dig at the EU because you're fine with fixed prices.

Why are people so concerned? A company operating within the EU needs to abide by the relevant laws, the same as a company operating within the US.

What about the huge protection afforded to US airlines? And the fact that a foreign company cannot get a majority holding of a US airline? So that's alright, because it's a US law in the US but it's not alright for the EU to protect consumers in the EU? That's some pretty fuzzy logic.

Mate, there is a HUGE difference; I can go out right now and purchase an AMD based laptop or desktop from any number of vendors - the fact is, I choose not to because AMD are crap. If AMD want to win my busieness, they need to get their act together.

kaiwai said,
Mate, there is a HUGE difference; I can go out right now and purchase an AMD based laptop or desktop from any number of vendors - the fact is, I choose not to because AMD are crap. If AMD want to win my busieness, they need to get their act together.

You seem to be going off on some tangent that has nothing to with this. This is not specifically about your choice, it is about the consumers choice. If Intel use their dominant position in the industry to force companies to use Intel processors instead of AMD ones that is an abuse of power and illegal. You may have had even more choice as to where to buy an AMD system had Intel not (alledgedly) been rigging the market.

That is what the Intel case is about, nothing to do with who currently holds the 'fastest/best/whatever crown' or your personal preferences, it is about a company breaking the law, and if a company breaks the law they should pay the consequences.

beardedwonder said,

You seem to be going off on some tangent that has nothing to with this. This is not specifically about your choice, it is about the consumers choice. If Intel use their dominant position in the industry to force companies to use Intel processors instead of AMD ones that is an abuse of power and illegal. You may have had even more choice as to where to buy an AMD system had Intel not (alledgedly) been rigging the market.

That is what the Intel case is about, nothing to do with who currently holds the 'fastest/best/whatever crown' or your personal preferences, it is about a company breaking the law, and if a company breaks the law they should pay the consequences.

You have some major reading issues; if I can't get it, then no one can get it; I am an ordinary consumer. I can go down the road and choose from over a dozen manufacturers with AMD devices in them.

If choice was SO severely limited, then I certainly wouldn't be able to do so - now would I? There is a huge bloody difference between Microsoft and Intel. You could ALWAYS purchase products with AMD CPU's in them.

kaiwai said,
You have some major reading issues; if I can't get it, then no one can get it; I am an ordinary consumer. I can go down the road and choose from over a dozen manufacturers with AMD devices in them.

If choice was SO severely limited, then I certainly wouldn't be able to do so - now would I? There is a huge bloody difference between Microsoft and Intel. You could ALWAYS purchase products with AMD CPU's in them.


I can assure you it is you that has not understood the problem. This is not about whether they're available, of course they're available but the fact that Intel are illegally pressuring computer makers into using their chips when, without this 'persuasion' they may have chosen AMD chips. AMD then produces more chips bringing down the cost per unit giving them the ability to bring down their price therefore forcing Intel to bring their price down.

If there was no problem then why would this be happening:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/11/so..._against_intel/

South Korean news reports have said the inquiry has focused on allegations Intel ran roughshod over antitrust laws by pressuring computer makers to avoid using chips made by Advanced Micro Devices.

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3697541

AMD's newest ally in its antitrust battle with Intel is the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), which sent a letter to U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chair Deborah Majoras urging the FTC to formally investigate "Intel’s monopolization conduct in microchips."

Of course, you can chose to simply ignore the fact that Intel will, most probably, be being investigated by 3 seperate bodies in 3 seperate countries. Surely that provides some sort of proof that Intel are operating unfairly.

Also should point out that Intel just happened to lose a hell of a lot of emails that were pertinent to the antitrust case

AMD wants Intel to recover missing e-mails

The lost volume is the equivalent to the e-mail 220 people would generate in a year, said Mark Samuels, an attorney at O'Melveny & Myers for AMD.

And i should reiterate, if a company operates illegally it should be punished subject to the laws in the respective country/area.

Unfortunately US politics is controlled by "big money" the economy has suffered for this very reason. Now jobs are being exported to China and Mexico because of "big money". I wonder when enough Americans will wake up to this fact. The EU (flawed though it is) is trying control monopoly practices from taking hold.

If America does everything right, how come their country is in such a mess. "Wake up America!" You can't live on credit for ever. One of your traditional enemies (China) now has control of your economy (holding $1000,000,000,000), and supplying you with poisonous goods!

I spout this, not because I hate the US (I don't), but because if the US goes down, there will be world chaos!

boho said,
Unfortunately US politics is controlled by "big money" the economy has suffered for this very reason. Now jobs are being exported to China and Mexico because of "big money". I wonder when enough Americans will wake up to this fact. The EU (flawed though it is) is trying control monopoly practices from taking hold.

If America does everything right, how come their country is in such a mess. "Wake up America!" You can't live on credit for ever. One of your traditional enemies (China) now has control of your economy (holding $1000,000,000,000), and supplying you with poisonous goods!

I spout this, not because I hate the US (I don't), but because if the US goes down, there will be world chaos!

Unfortunately in the US, so-called 'important issues' like gays, guns and god take precedent over 'trivial' issues such as energy security, job creation, balancing the budget, improving the trade imbalance. You know, things that don't win votes in the red neck states.

Wonder if this started with AMD whineing to them "we cant compete" because they just cant make a better product... AMD has been in the dust since the core line came out... and it seems like all they can do now is whine and not work on advancing their own tech...

When a product tanks before nobody buys it, because the consumer choses the competing product, that's ok, because it's competition. When the consumer isn't even given the choice to choose, because one company pays for the competing products to "disappear", that's something else.

neufuse said,
Wonder if this started with AMD whineing to them "we cant compete" because they just cant make a better product... AMD has been in the dust since the core line came out... and it seems like all they can do now is whine and not work on advancing their own tech...

For me, I'm a non-Windows user, which makes AMD line up a non-starter for me; they've just started to release the ATI specifications, but even still, their product line is off limit until they partner with a wireless company who is willing to open up their specifications - why the bloody heck they went with Broadcom, god only knows. Realtek, although not absolutely the best, atleast provides specifications to those who ask; an AMD CPU + ATI GPU + Realtek Wireless/Wired/Sound would make it a winner for me. Until then, AMD is off the radar for me.

Do you have a problem with Intel offering financial incentives to OEMs who don't use AMD processors? Do you have a problem with Intel punishing OEMs if they do sell PCs with AMD CPUs?

Funny how everybody jumps on Intel's side when it's the EU/EC going after them for abusive market practices.

kronix2 said,
Do you have a problem with Intel offering financial incentives to OEMs who don't use AMD processors? Do you have a problem with Intel punishing OEMs if they do sell PCs with AMD CPUs?

Funny how everybody jumps on Intel's side when it's the EU/EC going after them for abusive market practices.

Mate, they changed - there is a difference; Microsoft was changed by force, Intel changed by choice.

Oh, and the reason I like Intel is because they firstly helping opensource and secondly they're actually working with developers - which is more than I can say for AMD who have flat out refused to work with the opensource community.

Whats their alternative to Centrino? a half-assed AMD Frankenstein combination of BroadCom and AMD stuff thrown on a board - all working terribly with alternative operating systems; some would say just as bad with Windows as well.

This is not surprising in the slighest. Intel has been as aggressive, if not more than, Microsoft and Microsoft was taken to account. I love cheaper prices but not at the expense of competition because that drives up prices in the medium-to-long term. Rambus is another company that abused its position to get patented products into memory standards to exploit the industry and the consumer.

I don't care what the US does, as rather than take action they're more likely to give them a tax break, but as a consumer in the EU I certainly DO care about a fair marketplace and I support the EU should it decide to launch proceedings against these companies.

Intel does shady things in europe for sure. For me it's suspicious than certain retailers won't sell computers with AMD chips at all.

The US is in self destruct mode! American need to ask themselves searching questions.
I have family and friends in America, I am not anti American!
Unfortunately it is human nature "to kick a person when down"

Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

Budious said,
Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

The view that monopolies are bad for competition, and in turn bad for the customer, is not as a result of US political prejudice. If you are big on world economics then you'll know the benefits of a free market too. Same goes for Microsoft, and nobody is asking them to "break up" as you first said. It isn't just the EU trying to flex their muscles either, companies like Nokia and Ericsson are making complaints as the article says.

Budious said,
Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

I'm afraid I must agree. This Neelie Kroes seems to have gotten drunk on her own power and now appears to be pursuing cases merely because she can.

This bureaucratic nightmare with her endless supply of expensive red tape are really becoming a problem. Reminds me of how everyone simply put up with Adolf Hitler in the '30s in the hope that he would eventually go away without causing too many problems. Well, we all know how that worked out, don't we?

Budious said,
Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

Oooooooooooorrr we would just:
a) Buy AMD processors and
b) save the money we flood into MS and send half that amount to Linux and open-source projects and watch Microsoft really feel the pinch from the voice of the Europeans

There are nearly twice as many people in the EU than in the US, and the majority of the EU spend way more on Microsoft products than the US population do (if for nothing more than the fact that the Euro is stronger than the $US), which makes the EU a critical market! They could pull out of the EU and survive, but they would lose a massive market share, and you'd rapidly see monopolies disappear in favour of newer ones [can something that is free have a monopoly?].

If MS and Intel were to pull out of the EU, I guarantee that they would be worse off than we.

Budious said,
Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

I agree with this. It seems like the EU really needs the money. Why don't we ever hear of them attacking business' in Europe? To me, it really seems as it they're only going after American business'. The EU is one step closer to the NWO.

Budious said,
Don't go mixing your world view of US politics up with world economics, despite the fact I know it would never happen, I would love to see Microsoft and Intel to pull all their products from the EU and watch you slide back into the dark ages.

I knew some of the anti-EU people were ignorant, but damn, this takes some beating.

Microsoft and Intel have shareholders, meaning they would never pull out of the EU if there was money to be made. And so what if they leave? We'll buy AMD CPUs and use Linux. Simple.

Try researching what the Dark Ages were, and then compare America to Europe, and then ask yourself who's better off today. Dark Ages my arse. America's 50 years behind Western Europe when it comes to race relations and the welfare of the people. What, you don't have universal healthcare yet?

RAID 0 said,

I agree with this. It seems like the EU really needs the money. Why don't we ever hear of them attacking business' in Europe? To me, it really seems as it they're only going after American business'. The EU is one step closer to the NWO.

Why are so many of these anti-EU people conspiracy theorists, anarcho-capitalists and zealous nationalists?

The EC has gone after European companies such as Siemens. If you've got a problem with the EC bringing suits against American companies, feel free to write to Intel and ask them to stop trading within the EU.

RAID 0 said,
I agree with this. It seems like the EU really needs the money. Why don't we ever hear of them attacking business' in Europe? To me, it really seems as it they're only going after American business'. The EU is one step closer to the NWO.

Because Americans are only interested with stories with "America" in them ... do you care about the countless cases of European, and Asian, companies being regulated in Europe?

The Uncle Sam squad would have nothing to say and well Ron Paul would be quite meaningless in the topic too.

RAID 0 said,
I agree with this. It seems like the EU really needs the money. Why don't we ever hear of them attacking business' in Europe? To me, it really seems as it they're only going after American business'. The EU is one step closer to the NWO.

Just because we don't let indecent business practices run riot makes us seem poor? Regardless of the amount of money, this is a punishment for not abiding by EU business law. Just because MS are the worlds biggest software company doesn't make them above the law.