EU Slaps Intel with $1.45B Antitrust Fine

Computer chip maker Intel was hit with a €1.06 billion (about US$1.45 billion) fine for antitrust violations in the European Union. The fine is the largest the EU has ever imposed on a company or individual, according to Reuters.

The eight year long antitrust investigation concluded that Intel paid rebates to companies to get them to stop using AMD chips, paid computer makers to hold back or cancel product launches for devices that used AMD chips, and paid retailers to stock Intel-based products.

The presiding commission ordered Intel to stop the practices that it sees as against the law. Intel, however, contends that it hasn't broken any laws and intends to appeal the ruling.

Neelie Kroes, the European Union Competition Commissioner, commented "Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years."

Unlike its antitrust rulings against Microsoft, which were paused during appeals, the Commission plans to push forward with its sanctions against Intel right away.

Despite the record breaking size of the fine and the limitations the EU Commission plans to impose on the company, analysts expect Intel will be able to maintain it's market leading position as the top processor supplier to PC makers.