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European Commission fines Intel €1.06 billion for antitrust violations

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] fined [EC press release] computer chip maker Intel Corp. [corporate website] €1.06 billion Wednesday for violating European Union antitrust laws and ordered Intel to cease engaging in the anti-competitive behaviors. The EC announced that Intel violated the laws [Article 82 backgrounder] by giving computer companies rebates to purchase nearly all of their supplies from Intel and paying companies not to use products made by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate website], Intel's main competitor. The EC has indicated that the fine must be paid within three months and that the 542-page decision will be published soon [EC press release]. AMD president and CEO Dirk Meyer hailed the ruling [AMD press release] as "an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market." Intel announced [Intel press release] that it would appeal the decision but would comply with it in the meantime.

Intel has faced numerous antitrust suits [JURIST news archive]. Last June, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] opened a probe against Intel [JURIST report] for anti-competitive behavior. Last year, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) [official website] fined Intel nearly $26 million [JURIST report] after a KFTC probe [JURIST report] found that the company had engaged in anti-competitive practices. The state of New York opened an antitrust probe [JURIST report] into Intel's actions and AMD also filed [JURIST report] a civil suit [complaint, PDF; Intel response] against the company last year.

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