30 July 2007 | Paul Snell
Intel has abused its position in the European computer chip market, according to the European Commission (EC).
The EC has written to the chip manufacturer, highlighting concerns over its position and behaviour as the dominant supplier in the market.
Preliminary EC findings said Intel provided rebates to manufacturers buying all or most of their computer chips from Intel. It also claimed Intel made payments to encourage a manufacturer to delay or cancel the launch of a product that used components from its rival, AMD, and said Intel offered its own chips at below cost price.
A statement from the EC said: "These three types of conduct are aimed at excluding AMD, Intel's main rival, from the market. Each of them is provisionally considered an abuse of a dominant position in its own right. The EC also considers the three types of conduct reinforce each other and are part of a single overall anti-competitive strategy."
But Intel rejected the EC's initial findings. "We are confident the microprocessor market segment is functioning normally and that Intel's conduct has been lawful, pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers," said Bruce Sewell, senior vice-president and general counsel at Intel. "This case is based on complaints from a direct competitor rather than customers and consumers. The evidence that the industry is fiercely competitive and working is compelling."