Since 2001, the European Union's (EU) anti-trust regulators have investigated complaints that chip maker Intel engaged in anti-competitive practices. They accused Intel of of paying retailers not to sell computers with AMD chips, and for using its position as the number-one chip manufacturer to muscle around competition. Today, the EU handed down the decision in the form of a $1.4 billion fine, the largest in European history.
Meanwhile, the Inquirer (the legit one, not the "National" one) takes a slightly more gossipy angle by looking at the reactions of executives at Intel's chief rival, AMD. Needless to say, the reactions were generally positive, ranging from mild schadenfreude to "PWNED!" The Register investigates the ramifications of the suit, noting that it may spark a run of civil suits against the reeling chip giant.
Looking into the future, Agence France-Presse speculates that the EU may try to take down Google next. Ironically, the investigation into Google is evidently being egged on by none other than the original computer anti-trust bad boys, Microsoft.
Ha! Look at what Apple started. Now, Microsoft should accuse Apple for curbing the compition with their IPOD's (which are the biggest pieces of junk on the market). Turn-about is fair play.
Then maybe Apple will start calling their compition what they really are, WINDOWS...not PC.
The Europeans just hate that they can't come up with a competitor to either Microsoft or Intel the way they ganged up to form Airbus. If you can't beat 'em, fine 'em!
I think Intel is going to face a fine in the US as well. This is not a case of America bashing since AMD is American owned so the airbus comparison is invalid. All the anti-trust regulators just want a fairer market and since Intel want do business in the EU they have to abide by the rules.
Yes james2 the 'Europeans' did this to bash America, nothing to do with fair trade as the above post points out.
I hate Yanks with your mentality, so does the rest of the world. It wouldn't surprise me if the majority of your own country does as well.
I agree that there is actually some grounds for a complaint here, but I think if the EU actually cared about helping AMD, then they would just turn around and give the 4 billion to AMD for R&D.
But it does seem to me that the EU is just money hungry. They have been fining MS for years. Now they are turning to other American companies. I dont see them pursuing legal cases against Toyota and Nissan, or Sony and Honda...
I just think if they really cared, they would do some good for the WORLD with the money. Give it to the WHO or for disaster relief... Something other than funding the EU, ya know?
So James2, would this be like the jealousy and hatred that the US government had with Microsoft? The same company that was fined years ago for exactly the same crimes. Considering the fact that AMD is also AMERICAN owned. This siding with the greed and avarice of Corporate America, just goes to show how blind; the general public of some supposedly democratic countries are of the world around them.
Yeah my problem with this is like what seanreynoldscs said, who gets to use this $1.4 billion. Although I do believe their may have been some anti-competitive practices by intel, but I would trust them with that money over almost any European or American government. It does seem that these rules are just pretending to be against anti-competitive practices without really doing anything to stop it.
Intel abused their monopoly and we have anti-trust laws here in the US that cover this problem. Now if we just had politicians that don't kowtow to the corporations and special interests and actually represent the people, perhaps we would be fining them as well or even first?
Oh the horrors. Intel gave rebates to use their chips instead of AMDs. And I guess consumers were "harmed" by not having the choice, because it couldn't have been harm from lower priced Intel chips.
I'd like to see companies like Siemens stand up to such scrutiny elsewhere in the world. German companies get to legally deduct bribes to government officials as business expenses. Why aren't they instead fined for such anti-competitive practices?
$1.45 billion is BS. Just a money grab because they're not going to say give rebates to those who were "harmed" or the company harmed (AMD) or provide any such justice. They're going to just use it to try supplement their general budgets.
I wonder how many PC's with Windows and Intel chips the EU is using to investigate these crimes. Maybe they should not allow these products to be sold in Europe at all and should stop these companies from supporting their products, including the Intel chips in the cars.
If I remember France still allows movie and music piracy. it's all about the money.
This is so typical of excessive governance. Rather than righting the wrong by requiring reparations to the offended party, the EU has declared itself to be the offended party and makes claim on money they can't steal through taxation. In reality this is just another tax on the consumer because the cost of doing business gets passed on in the form of higher prices. Governments who have fattened their bureaucracy during good times stoop to theft during bad to maintain it. I guess who ever gets the last bite before everyone starves wins.
The EU is out of bounds as is usual where they seek to favor European companies over American companies as noted by their monetary policies. They believe (with hoods on their eyes) that their Internet is superior to anyone else's. All nations believe this, but it should not be an excuse for levelling the quality of products to their own level of quality. Let each company stand on its own in the eyes of the consumer. The EU should not control their public market when American or any countries technology outstrips their own. They deny their citizens the best products available in the world.
does this mean that i can now sew apple for only making their OS's intel compatible. The latest OSX's will run on intel chipsets, meaning that you can in fact have an mac 'pc' however the same install will not work for an amd based chipset, have they not then in fact then done the same thing. How about if you want to own an ipod, you have to install itunes, and then it will only work locally with a mac or windows, no back and forth. what if I want to use winamp or wmp, or any of the dozens of other apps that support portable devices. Apple forces the use of intel, and itunes on its paying customers. customers are paying for a product, not to be locked out of their own equipment. I use a standard mp3 player, and i drag an drop from any computer, and it plays no problems no extra software, and it's not that the ipod is incapable of doing this, apple has intentionally crafted their ipod to require it. didn't Microsoft get sued on antitrust, for making people use their software to accomplish certain tasks?
lensman51: $1.45 Billion in what? The media are good at quoting a single figure but don't relate it to anything else such as the total size of the market (B$) or the E.U. estimate of the actual benefit derived (B$) as a result of breaking the rules that others abide by.
I am sad to see this happen as I have a relative who works for Intel so on the one hand some of the resources that could have gone on innovation will go elsewhere and that will impact jobs.
On the other hand how many jobs were lost in the E.U. and elsewhere through unfair competition?
Microsoft seemed to set a precedent years ago by paying a regular US anti-competitive fine and continuing to be anti-competitive because it simply payed them to do that.
Is it so surprising that that governments and the E.U. finally start to take some action to correct bad habits?
Look at it this way the govement hates big corporations i mean come on the US fines Microsoft the EU fines Intel and for WHAT where did the money go and besids that look at where we are for there dovelopments where would the world be without them? so if the Eu fines Intel and they go broke wtf good did all that serve anyway? so this is all political BS if you ask me i mean what else would it be?
Have you wonder what would happen if Intel and Microsoft retire their products from the EU?
Government should stay out of business. It saddens me that the E.U. hands down large fines that could hurt businesses and possibly force job cuts. A business should not be punished just for having a large share of the market. Google's the biggest search engine. Apple owns music with iTunes and iPods. Intel makes and sells the most (and probably best) computer chips. Good for them. They should be free to practice their business and to make a profit for a job well done. Consumers should decide which businesses and products get rewarded with high sales and profit, not some governmental agency.
It is almost scary how ignorant and arrogant some commentors are... What a BS about the theory that the EU is just doing this to get money and to bash US companies.
Get a live !!! What about the 800 Mio Siemens got fined last year by the US government??? Oh, this must be different, right??
Many other german and EU companies also got fined in the past by US courts. Dont forget, that US courts (especially in NY) very often consider themselves responsible for issues committed by non-companies for crimes committed outside the US with non-US claimants!!!!
If they broke the law, then they need to be punished. And we all agree, that Intel would laugh about a fine of 5.000 USD.
And you guys claim, that this EU court is politically influenced??? Believe me, the justice system in EU is a lot more independent that the US System (see guantanamo). The EU courts are usually more a completely teethless tiger which very rarely is able to bite.
Intel's chips aren't the best product simply because they dominate: they offer only one possible solution, but it manages to crowd everything else out because of the sheer momentum built up behind it. So this as is why regulation is needed otherwise outside innovators will not get a chance and we will be stuck with laptops that still last only 3 hours.
Regarding the he fines imposed: They will be probably used to improve the infrastructure of poorer members of the EU by way of grants for public works such as decent roads (in the same way as the rest of the money paid in from member countries). The end effect being that people have more opportunities in life: therefore more products such as PC's are purchased from big companies. It's worth pointing the EU is ultimately trying to prevent economic situations that cause wars and not about trying to bash America.
Intel has been the dominate force for a long time. The fact is Intel makes a higher quality chip than AMD. They know that if most consumers have a choice they will pick the cheapest computer which is most likely to have an AMD chip rather than an intel. My buddy went through 3 AMD chips that all fried while my intel chip never had a problem. This is not like the Windows vs Linux issue. We are talking chips and to the average consumer it doesn't who makes the chip as long as it works. Operating systems have a learning curve and this makes people not want to give up windows, except for the limited number of hippies ( on macs ) and super nerds ( on linux )
It's so true that power corrupts and governments have so much power..., but so do corporations. MS used plagiarism laws to knock down it's small competitors and it's bankroll and lawyers to bleed to death the bigger ones. Intel knows the game just as well and that they've had a free pass from a "see no evil" American government. Just like AT&T a generation ago!
Many love America because it's strong and they don't really even want it to be fair, they just want it to come out ahead. They will always deny the bad and trumpet what looks good but they are only talking as a strategy to win and being fair to people doesn't really matter to them.
Maybe it's inevitable; like how an immigrant's child just wants the riches and not the hard work and perseverance needed to earn them in a fair society. People loved America because it stood for fairness and an honest break but now in some ways it's become just like old Europe with it's aristocracy and it's titles.
Do we want justice to be dependent on whether you're rich?
James 2 You are a fool, the American government has just done exactly the same thing to Intel for stifling competition. I wish you dead x