July 12, 2005 12:02 PM PDT

EU antitrust officials raid Intel

update European regulators raided the offices of Intel and a number of PC-related companies early Tuesday as part of an antitrust investigation into the chip giant.

As part of the dawn raid, European Commission officials and national competition authorities in Milan, Italy; Munich, Germany; Madrid, Spain; and Swindon, England, descended on several Intel offices, a Commission representative said and an Intel representative confirmed. The officials also visited a number of companies that manufacture or sell computers.

"These inspections are being carried out within the framework of an ongoing investigation," a Commission representative said.


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Intel said it is cooperating fully with investigators.

"Our normal business practice is to cooperate, and we are doing (that) so far in this case," Intel representative Chuck Mulloy told CNET News.com. "We firmly believe that our business practices are fair and lawful."

The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading, or OFT, said that it had assisted the European competition authorities in an "on-site inspection" of Intel's Swindon offices.

"It is really a European Commission matter," said an OFT spokeswoman. She said the inspection was likely to have been carried out under article 81 of the EC Treaty, which prohibits price fixing and other distortions of competition within the European Union. The spokeswoman could not say whether anything was removed from Intel's offices.

The investigation comes just weeks after rival Advanced Micro Devices filed suit against Intel, alleging the chip giant has used scare tactics and coercion to prompt computer makers and other companies to use Intel's chips instead of rivals'. Intel's chief executive, Paul Otellini, has said that he expects his company to come out on top in the dispute.

In the European inquiry, other PC makers and retailers were reportedly questioned.

Dell, which exclusively sells products based on Intel chips, said the company's headquarters in Bracknell, England, were visited Tuesday by officials from the Commission's competition division. But the company declined to give details of what the officials were doing or the nature of the visit.

As of 5:30 p.m. local time, Commission investigators were still on the premises and Dell was cooperating fully, said Claire Ramage, a Dell representative in Europe.

European representatives of Hewlett-Packard said that the company's offices were not visited by Commission officials on Tuesday. IBM representatives were not immediately available to comment.

Other PC makers had little to say. German electronics retailer MediaMarkt declined to state its relationship with either Intel or AMD. And DSR Retail, the parent company for U.K.-based online retailer Dixons, declined to say whether it was visited as part of the probe, but reiterated its earlier stance that a reference to Dixons in AMD's complaint against Intel is factually incorrect.

A source familiar with antitrust issues predicted that Intel will not have much to say about the probe right away.

"Normally, these companies are pissed when their offices are raided, but there is nothing they can do about it," the source said. "They see

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Holy Crap Batman! To the Wintel Cave!
Next stop MICROSITH Europe HQ's! (Euro-Death Star)

If I were Citizen Gates I would take this as a "shot across the bow" when dealing with the EU & their ongoing EU antitrust case...

Hello USDOJ? Is there anybody home?
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You need help
What is the relevance with Microsoft? The only OS manufacturer doing deals with Intel at the moment is Apple.

Did Bill kick sand in your face or something?
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Holy Crap Batman! To the Wintel Cave!
Next stop MICROSITH Europe HQ's! (Euro-Death Star)

If I were Citizen Gates I would take this as a "shot across the bow" when dealing with the EU & their ongoing EU antitrust case...

Hello USDOJ? Is there anybody home?
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You need help
What is the relevance with Microsoft? The only OS manufacturer doing deals with Intel at the moment is Apple.

Did Bill kick sand in your face or something?
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Who is the bully here? AMD or Intel?
All I hear is AMD attacking... Hmm... Desperation...

In marketing we say that any publicity is good publicity. In AMDs case is a divas cry for help. Since I use a combination of systems in my business, I'm not impressed with AMDs image at all. Layers win money, AMD will settle for less, and in the end layers still win. Isn't that what happened with Apple when Microsoft saved it by purchasing 100 mill in stock? The new guy that AMD has (Hector de Ruiz) will ruin the company for good. He reminds me of Karl Rove (rutheless pathological marketing BS nut).

I guess that if you practice 100% Marketing BS, in the end it means monopoly. The funny thing about this is that no corporation will admit on camera that they want full market share. But behind doors they always say "We envision for everyone to use our products". So AMD, STOP complaining like a little kid about the slice of cake you have, and concentrate in making better products. This year you are ahead because Intel relaxed its RD. If you continue with inovative producs you'll gain loyalty and market share. Shallow behavior from your part (AMD) would mean that I and many people will dump your stock for Big Macs.

So, who is the bully here? AMD or Intel? Just guess... it only has 3 letters.
Posted by domino360 (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I disaggree
AMD did innovate and does have superior products (ever tried the Athlon-FX series?) but that is not enough. Money talks. And monopolies have money. Money can preserve a monopoly (Microsoft comes to mind) even if the products are inferior. AMD has tried everithing they could. Having better products and prices is not enough once the competition bought up the marketplace. AMD is right in sueing intel since he's running out of options.

BTW about product superiority check out some benchmarks from www.tomshardware.com and do a price comparison.

How would you feel in the shoes of AMD? Court is the only option since what Intel is doing is illegal and hinders competition. Competition which would drop the prices for us, end users.
Posted by (92 comments )
Link Flag
Who is the bully here? AMD or Intel?
All I hear is AMD attacking... Hmm... Desperation...

In marketing we say that any publicity is good publicity. In AMDs case is a divas cry for help. Since I use a combination of systems in my business, I'm not impressed with AMDs image at all. Layers win money, AMD will settle for less, and in the end layers still win. Isn't that what happened with Apple when Microsoft saved it by purchasing 100 mill in stock? The new guy that AMD has (Hector de Ruiz) will ruin the company for good. He reminds me of Karl Rove (rutheless pathological marketing BS nut).

I guess that if you practice 100% Marketing BS, in the end it means monopoly. The funny thing about this is that no corporation will admit on camera that they want full market share. But behind doors they always say "We envision for everyone to use our products". So AMD, STOP complaining like a little kid about the slice of cake you have, and concentrate in making better products. This year you are ahead because Intel relaxed its RD. If you continue with inovative producs you'll gain loyalty and market share. Shallow behavior from your part (AMD) would mean that I and many people will dump your stock for Big Macs.

So, who is the bully here? AMD or Intel? Just guess... it only has 3 letters.
Posted by domino360 (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I disaggree
AMD did innovate and does have superior products (ever tried the Athlon-FX series?) but that is not enough. Money talks. And monopolies have money. Money can preserve a monopoly (Microsoft comes to mind) even if the products are inferior. AMD has tried everithing they could. Having better products and prices is not enough once the competition bought up the marketplace. AMD is right in sueing intel since he's running out of options.

BTW about product superiority check out some benchmarks from www.tomshardware.com and do a price comparison.

How would you feel in the shoes of AMD? Court is the only option since what Intel is doing is illegal and hinders competition. Competition which would drop the prices for us, end users.
Posted by (92 comments )
Link Flag
Intel Has Commoditized the Market...
And if you don't agree that Intel has a monopoly then that is your right. It is also your right to pay double the current prices for PCs if AMD pulls out of the x86 market since the only time Intel lowers prices is when AMD comes out with a competing product. If AMD loses this lawsuit we all lose.
When you buy an Intel system from any of the Tier 1 OEMs you are are essentially buying a computer that Intel designed. Other than case styles and periphery all Wintel boxes are the same. Intel owns the souls of the major OEMs and can and do adversely affect their operations if they "don't play ball".
At least in the OS arena you have some competition but that simply isn't the case in the CPU wars.

Fred Dunn
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Intel Has Commoditized the Market...
And if you don't agree that Intel has a monopoly then that is your right. It is also your right to pay double the current prices for PCs if AMD pulls out of the x86 market since the only time Intel lowers prices is when AMD comes out with a competing product. If AMD loses this lawsuit we all lose.
When you buy an Intel system from any of the Tier 1 OEMs you are are essentially buying a computer that Intel designed. Other than case styles and periphery all Wintel boxes are the same. Intel owns the souls of the major OEMs and can and do adversely affect their operations if they "don't play ball".
At least in the OS arena you have some competition but that simply isn't the case in the CPU wars.

Fred Dunn
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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