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EU inspectors conduct surprise Intel raid in antitrust probe

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] Tuesday carried out an unannounced inspection [press release] at the Munich office of semiconductor manufacturing giant Intel [corporate website], as part of an investigation into Intel's possible anticompetitive practices directed at rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate website]. The European Union last year accused Intel of violating European antitrust law [JURIST report] by providing "substantial rebates" to various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) if the OEMs purchased the majority of their processors from Intel. The EU has said that Intel may have violated Article 81 and Article 82 [texts] of the EC Treaty. Intel has insisted that it merely engaged in "pro-competition" which was "ultimately beneficial to consumers."

Similar probes into Intel's practices have been conducted by the Korean Fair Trade Commission [official website; JURIST report] and the Japan Fair Trade Commission [official website]. Last October, the US Federal Trade Commission said it would not open a formal investigation [JURIST report] into allegations that Intel offered unfair discounts to eliminate competition from AMD. Intel could face fines in both Europe and South Korea for engaging in anti-competitive behavior. AP has more.

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