EU Could Take Antitrust Action Against Intel

Antitrust officials at the European Commission have put together a "watertight argument" for going after Intel, according to an anonymous source cited by Macworld UK. The commission paid visits to Intelis European offices last year, confiscating documents for use in the case.

AMDis executive vice-president of legal affairs, Thomas McCoy, told Macworld UK that he expects Neelie, Kroes, the EUis competition commissioner, to soon issue a charge sheet outlining problems with Intelis behavior. He commented: "I am optimistic she will push ahead with the lawsuit because she is independent from political pressure, both Intel and AMD are big employers in Europe, and because unlike other antitrust cases there are no complicated intellectual property issues at stake in this case."

AMD has sued Intel for anti-competitive behavior, a charge the semiconductor giant denies. Mr. McCoy noted: "Sony used to have a model running on AMD chips at any given price range but then they went 100 per cent Intel. Ultimately the consumer loses through reduced choice."

The suit was filed in June, and on Sept. 27, a judge dismissed part of the lawsuit, noting: "AMDis allegations, taken in the light of the most favorable to AMD, describe a foreign effect and a foreign harm that have had ripple effects for the domestic market, but have not had any direct, substantial or reasonable effect which would give rise to an antitrust claim within the jurisdictional reach of the Sherman Act."