EU Inspectors Raid Intel Offices in Europe.
European Commission Raids Intel, Partners
by Anton Shilov
[ 07/12/2005 | 08:14 PM ]
The probe against the world’s largest chipmaker Intel Corp. is continuing to escalate as the European Commission inspectors raided offices of Intel as well as its partners, including retailers and computer makers. AMD, Intel’s rival who recently filed antitrust lawsuit against the company, applauded the move.
“Officials are conducting inspections of several premises of Intel, as well as the premises of PC manufacturers and retailers in Europe,” said Jonathan Todd, a representative for the European Commission.
The spokesman did not reveal which of Intel offices as well as which PC manufacturers and retailers have been visited by investigators. The media notes that the European Commission launched its first investigation of Intel’s business practices in late 2000, but had to suspend it due to the lack of evidence a couple of years later. The inspectors are trying to find out whether Intel truly offered certain lucrative bargains to those PC makers, who do not use processors from Intel’s rivals, such as AMD.
While Intel did not comment on the information, AMD adored the raids.
“Today’s dawn raids should come as good news to consumers across Europe,” said Thomas M. McCoy, AMD executive vice president, legal affairs and chief administrative officer. “Every computer user has a strong interest in ensuring that the full truth about Intel’s anti-competitive abuses is revealed and corrected. The European Commission dawn raids show that Intel cannot and should not escape the scrutiny of antitrust officials around the world – nor can Intel escape the consequences of its anti-competitive actions, which raise prices, threaten innovation and harm consumers.”
AMD recently filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S., accusing its competitor of illegal business practices.
The U.S. litigation follows a recent ruling from the Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) on March 8, which found that Intel abused its monopoly power to exclude fair and open competition, violating Section 3 of Japan’s Antimonopoly Act. AMD Japan filed two claims on June 30 two claims against Intel Corp.’s Japanese subsidiary, Intel K.K., in the Tokyo High Court and the Tokyo District Court for damages arising from violations of Japan’s Antimonopoly Act. The suit in the Tokyo High Court seeks US$50 million (approximately 5.5 billion yen) in damages, following on the JFTC’s findings.