The European Commission yesterday carried out an unannounced inspection at Intel’s offices in Germany as well as some retailers selling products using the company’s chips, as part of an investigation into Intel’s possible anticompetitive practices directed at rival AMD.
The chipmaker was charged with monopoly abuse last July after the EU decreed that it had undercut AMD by offering substantial customer rebates to computer makers for buying most of their CPUs from Intel, and inducing them to delay or cancel products using AMD chips. Of course, Intel responded that its conduct has been nothing but lawful, pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers.
Intel is lined up to attend a hearing in Brussels next month to face charges that it abused its dominant position in the CPU market and could face fines of up to 10% of its yearly global revenue if it is found to have broken the rules. To put this into perspective, last year Intel’s revenue amounted to $6.98 billion.