Paid companies to discourage competitors' sales
on may 13, EU slapped a fine of US $1.45 billion on computer chip manufacturer Intel for making payments to retailers to discourage the sale of its competitor's new model of central processing unit (cpu). Intel had paid Acer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, among others, to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing the cpu of rival company, Advanced Micro Devices, and to limit the sales channels available to these products.
The EU said Intel had given huge rebates to computer manufacturers between 2002 and 2007 on the condition they use only Intel cpus.
"Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years," said European Union Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, in a statement issued to the media. He added that such a serious violation of the antitrust rules could not be tolerated.
The Commission ordered Intel to stop any anticompetitive practices in which it might still be engaged. Intel said it would file an appeal.
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