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European Commission brings new antitrust charges against Intel

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] announced Thursday that it has filed additional antitrust charges against microprocessor manufacturer Intel [corporate website] for anti-competitive actions it has allegedly taken against rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate websites]. In a Supplementary Statement of Objections (SSO), the EC said that Intel had provided "substantial" rebates to one computer retailer on the condition that it only use Intel processors, and that it had both paid a computer manufacturer to delay selling AMD-based devices and offered the manufacturer similar exclusivity rebates. The EC announced [press release] that Intel has eight weeks to respond to the complaint:

Each of the conducts outlined in the 26 July 2007 Statement of Objections and the SSO is provisionally considered to constitute an abuse of a dominant position in its own right. However, the Commission also considers at this stage of its analysis that all the types of conduct reinforce each other and are part of a single overall anti-competitive strategy aimed at excluding AMD or limiting its access to the market.
In both the original July 2007 Statement of Objections [press release; JURIST report] and recent supplement, the EC's Directorate General for Competition [official website]  alleges that Intel violated the Treaty of Rome's antitrust prohibitions [Article 82 backgrounder] by providing the large rebates to several computer manufacturers and retailers in order to push AMD out of the market. In a response to the complaint, Intel has denied that the rebates were designed to inhibit competition [press release]. AP has more.

Intel has recently been charged with a number of anti-competition violations around the world, with the most recent investigation [JURIST report] into its practices being initiated by the US Federal Trade Commission [official website] in June. Earlier that month, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) [official website] levied nearly $26 million in fines [JURIST report] against Intel after a KFTC probe [JURIST report] found that the company had engaged in anti-competitive practices. In January, the state of New York opened an antitrust probe [JURIST report] into Intel's actions and AMD has also filed [JURIST report] a civil suit [complaint, PDF; Intel response] against the company.

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