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EU fines Intel record $1.4-billion

The Associated Press

Says chip maker exploited dominant position with deliberate strategy to keep AMD out of market ...Read the full article

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  1. Rusty Waters from Canada writes: The consumer wins here. What is Intel doing to its comptition in North America, I wonder.
  2. Timothy Philips from Barrie, Canada writes: Ouch.
  3. David Simon from Canada writes: Governments need money. Successful companies have money. Look for more of this with other successful companies.
  4. S. Eaton from Canada writes: Intel is being punished for their success.
    They paid a retailer to sell their products exclusively. What happens when I go into McDonalds and ask for a Pepsi?
    Or try getting a Labatt's product at the hockey game!
    With the world economies in a mess, the last thing we need to be doing is punishing the successful companies.
  5. Scotty Tranna from Toronto, Canada writes: C'mon, people. Inside every free-enterpriser is a monopolist screaming to get out. Their ultimate goal is to screw the consumer and enrich themselves. That is why, people, we have regulators.
  6. Dorina Grossu from Canada writes: Ethics and law prevail!
  7. Paul S from Stratford, Canada writes: This is good news.
  8. J F from Halifax, Canada writes: This is awful. Do we really want to live in a world where success is punished? Governments are going to continue money grabs like this from successful companies as their tax revenues continue to drop.

    What do you think Intel was going to do with that $1.8 billion? Just sit on it? They'd do R&D and create jobs.

    If retailers are ok with signing deals to exclusively sell computers with Intel chips its because they like the brand and they can trust it. Its their choice.
  9. Ooch Ouch from Canada writes:

    S. Eaton;

    Excellent post. This decision is absurd.

    .
  10. Howard Young from Canada writes: Is Intel dominant - yes, but they did it on their own steam and not behind the shield of a government protected monoply or oligopoly.

    Rather than burn Intel for its success, AMD should be questioned about why it didn't do a better job. In the consumer market there are essentially two chip makers now that Macs no longer use IBM based CPUs.

    With the global market at their feet, you would think the guys at AMD would be smart enough to find a way to get a bigger piece of the global pie.
  11. S. Eaton from Canada writes: Maybe AMD should consider making better products instead of running complaining to the authorities.
    Imagine how much R&D will be lost if incentives to produce superior products goes away. Free enterprise will be replaced by 'government leveling' and we'll end up with products designed to be 'just good enough'... like AMD and Chrysler.
  12. D. P. from Ottawa, Canada writes: I've had AMD computers before and they were not nearly as efficient as Intel. Why would computer makers jeopardize their market shares by using inferior chips? Likewise, why would electronic stores jeopardize their shares by selling inferior computers? The issue has and always will be the product's performance. If AMD had a superior product they would not have had trouble offloading free computer chips.
  13. Pupa S from Canada writes: Intel did not try to compete with the quality of the product it produces. It simply denied the other producer from entering the market by using its influence. If this kind practice is allowed, consumers and producers both lose, except the monopolist like Intel.
  14. Mark H from United States writes: This would be shady if AMD were in a dominant position given their inferior product (anybody in the know over the last couple of years would have to admit Intel's chips have been far superior). As a result it's not a huge surprise that retailers are willing to spend their money on exclusivity deals. This the EU's way of doing things, though. They want two options for everything, even if one of them is crap.
  15. J. Michael from Canada writes: Is it my imagination or does the EU have a habit of suing US companies?
  16. David Ho from Markham, Canada writes: I wouldn't want to do business in the EU, they're notorious for these things.
  17. Salman Voltairski from Lisbon, Canada writes: Scotty Tranna has it right

    Everybody loses when monopolies take over. Have you ever played the board game? ...the idea is, buy up a dominant position, then jack the rent so high that everybody else is bankrupt! Is that what we want?
  18. one thinker from Canada writes: I remember there was a time when AMD chips were the best ones, but i had trouble finding a computer with any AMD chips short of buying the ship itself from a computer store.

    This decision by the EU court only proves that it was the case that Intel was cornering the market by paying companies to not buy AMD chips.

    So it may sound outrageous the fee Intel is being order to pay but i'm sure if it was possible to make the calculations we would find that consumers lost way more money in buying expensive and low quality chips when Intel force its chips on us by not letting the competition rise.
  19. Terry Johnson from Canada writes: Intel has an overwhelming cost advantage over AMD and if all they were doing were pricing their product to take advantage of that there would be no problem. Instead they are using their profits to effectively prohibit or deter buyers from purchasing AMD chips. This is illegal in Europe and North America and most countries including China. As consumers we may benefit in the short run, but once Intel drives AMD out of business who is there to restrain Intel from raising prices? You can say that the market would see the high profits and someone would rush in but the barriers to entry into this market are so high that the profits would have to be very excessive. Accordingly, Intel would not care about pricing for the consumer, but rather try to determine at what point a competitor might be created and stay at or below that level.
  20. J F from Halifax, Canada writes: Monopolies only exist when they are subsidized by government.
  21. Shiyam Pillai from Mississauga, Canada writes: These fines have both a monetary and symbolic value. Intel deserves this, but I'm sure the appeal will drag out for years. If they were future focused they would negotiate the fine, acknowledge the truth and continue to crush AMD.

    After all the damage has been done.

    I wonder where these fines go and if the aggrieved party (AMD) benefits.
  22. Andrew Burke from Canada writes: For those saying that AMD needs to quit whining and make better products:
    They did make the better product, from roughly the PIII -> Core 2, the AMD equivalent was cheaper, and superior. **AND IT GOT THEM NO WHERE** this is the whole point. In the face of superior product, Intel basically resorted mafia-like tactics. You think this should go unpunished?
  23. Brian Dell from Alberta, Canada writes: Everyone complains about monopoly power when big business uses it. But when a labour union uses it, anti-competitive tactics are excused. If a business can buy similar quality labour from someone else for less, well, that cannot be allowed since that would expose labour to competition.

    If we lived in a truly competitive, consumer-friendly society labour unions would be banned along with all other cartels.
  24. Steve Tiberius from Canada writes: S. Eaton from Canada writes: Intel is being punished for their success.
    They paid a retailer to sell their products exclusively. What happens when I go into McDonalds and ask for a Pepsi?
    Or try getting a Labatt's product at the hockey game!
    With the world economies in a mess, the last thing we need to be doing is punishing the successful companies.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Consumers and Citizens alike win when the best, most affordable most innovative version of the product in question, rises to the top and becomes available to all on the open marketplace. We can all agree that our largely free market practices, despite current conditions, has generated more wealth for more people than any other factor in history. There is a reason we believe in a free market for consumer goods, because it works. When large monopolistic entities distort markets and cause products to get premier billing because of company connections, and not because they are the product of consumer choice, everybody loses but Intel. Oh yeah, and it's ILLEGAL. Most Western democracies have anti-trustlike laws on their books. It's just that the EU is the only entity with the Cajones to enforce them.
  25. Rob Forteath from Calgary, Canada writes: The knee-jerk calls of 'socialism' are predictable, but misguided.

    Strong anti-trust rules are necessary if there is to be a competitive marketplace. Many industries tend naturally to become monopolised, and monopolies raise prices while shutting down innovation. A free market is not going to be competitive, and a competitive market is not going to be entirely free. Intel and Microsoft have used their strong market position to illegally stifle competition, and they have been punished for this in Europe.
  26. Trev C from Orleans, Canada writes:
    Just follow the money. I don't see AMD coming ahead with that $1.4 Billion.

    I've bought both AMD and Intel chips and don't prefer one over the other. Price usually wins out.
  27. Have No Faith in Conservatives from Canada writes: I have to say that I agree with the ruling...AMD had a afr superioir product a few years back, and Intel ensured that no one would use it...Tahts the crux of the ragument here..You have a better product, but you are pushed out by backhanded deals, you then don't earn the profits to make the product better and fail in the end..

    If AMD fails, god help us, as Intel will own the ENTIRE industry, and NOONE can compete...

    The only silver lining is that video card manufactueres (Nvidia) are trying to have their cards take over operations from the CPU, esentially making the Intel CPU redundant, watch for what Intel does to stop that wave....
  28. Björgvin Björgvinsson from Austria writes: I also don't understand how people are backing AMD on this issue. Also Mark H from the US you mis-read it. The retailers weren't paying for exclusivity they were being paid. Then you also point out that the EU wants competition and not a monopoly. Actually it seemed like most people back Intel on this issue where saying that it was positive that Intel controls 80% of the market. In general the free-market where all the benefits are supposed to come from, is only with perfect competition which doesn't exist, so we always need anti-trust to protect consumers from monopolistic behaviour. I also agree with Steve Tiberius that only the EU is willing to stand up to large companies.
  29. Mark H from United States writes: 'Björgvin Björgvinsson from Austria writes: I also don't understand how people are backing AMD on this issue. Also Mark H from the US you mis-read it. The retailers weren't paying for exclusivity they were being paid.'

    You're right, thanks for pointing it out w/o being snarky.
  30. Uri Heuer from Canada writes: the amount of posters here that have no grasp of why it a necessary to uphold the law is astounding. Intel is not being punished for being successful, they are paying a fine for trying to prevent their competitors' success ILLEGALLY! There is a reason they were hiding their ILLEGAL practices. Because they are ILLEGAL! They should face the same judgement in every jurisdiction where they have broken the law.

    Perhaps they would be more successful if they didn't get caught! The first rule in crime!
  31. Thomas Morris from New York, NY, United States writes: The European Commission says Intel broke EU competition law by working 40 hours a week and being efficient.
  32. Maple Leaf from Canada writes: Well....EU desperately needs money to cover their deficits...
    ...seems like they found one to go after...
    I wonder who will be next....they already went after Microsoft...another US giant...
    ...perhaps...McD or Coca Cola next???
    Wouldn't be surprised...

    Funny how they never seem to go after their own European companies...
  33. Steve Tiberius from Canada writes: Maple Leaf from Canada writes: Well....EU desperately needs money to cover their deficits...
    ...seems like they found one to go after...
    I wonder who will be next....they already went after Microsoft...another US giant...
    ...perhaps...McD or Coca Cola next???
    Wouldn't be surprised...

    Funny how they never seem to go after their own European companies...
    -------------------------------------------
    Maybe if America bothered policing its own companies, the rest of us in the developed world wouldn't have to. Between Sharky Mortgage lenders, Credit Card Companies, Failing Banks, unaccountable mercenaries, there hasn't been a lot of real wealth creation in the States for a while. When companies are allowed to 'police themselves', they don't do a great job at actually growing the economy. Intel makes fine products and shouldn't have to rely on mafia-like bully tactics to get a great share of the market.
  34. Supreme Skeptic from Canada writes: Intel pays their customers no to buy a competitors products, and half the people on this board think that is ok. Good for the EU for punishing this illegal practice.

    But what about the other blatant offender ? Microsoft offers a steep discount to PC makers which install Windows on 100% of their products, but jacks the price of their O/S way up if the PC maker installs Linux on any of their machines. Why is this practice allowed ? It is profoundly anti-competitive.

    Intel and Microsoft are successful primarily because of their monopolistic practices.
  35. Blade Runner from Canada writes: Intel is being punished for their success.
    They paid a retailer to sell their products exclusively. What happens when I go into McDonalds and ask for a Pepsi?
    Or try getting a Labatt's product at the hockey game!
    With the world economies in a mess, the last thing we need to be doing is punishing the successful companies.
  36. Joseph Whistle from Canada writes: No people! Intel is NOT be 'punished for its success'. And NO! it's not that the government needs money and know where to find it.
    Intel broke anti competition laws. These laws are very important, because they protect us from gouging.
    As much as I like the technology that Intel creates, I say GOOD! Let me have it. They're the ones engaged in illegal practices.
    I really wish Microsoft got a more serious slap on the wrist in North America.
  37. Joseph Whistle from Canada writes: Blade Runnerm, try reading some of the other comments here. You are completely NOT getting it. You must be a Conservative, they often can't think very well.
  38. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: I'm opposed to off shore organizations being able to fine American Companies - but then, I'm opposed to One World Government also. I'm opposed to dictatorship. If the consumer gets upset with Intel, let them bouycott them. European Union, World Trade Organization, Codex Alimentarius, dictorship. People who continually look to the government to protect them soon forget how to protect themselves - and soon lose all freedoms. When we start looking at the European Union as our protector, we are really in trouble.
  39. Pupa S from Canada writes: [[[[ Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: I'm opposed to off shore organizations being able to fine American Companies - but then, I'm opposed to One World Government also. I'm opposed to dictatorship. If the consumer gets upset with Intel, let them bouycott them. European Union, World Trade Organization, Codex Alimentarius, dictorship. People who continually look to the government to protect them soon forget how to protect themselves - and soon lose all freedoms. When we start looking at the European Union as our protector, we are really in trouble.]]]]]

    I understand your basic concern. But how can individual consumers get all the information about Intel's illegal activities to be upset about, not to mention whether they can effectively organize themselves to boycott the product. Usually we buy a computer, not a processor. If you have a concern about the power of a big government, what about big corporates that is bigger and more powerful than a country.
  40. Blade Runner from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up , sorry, but I want one world government. I think its great now the North American governments own the major parts of the financial market.

    I think its fantastic the North American governments now own part of Chrysler and they will probably nationalize GM too.

    Keep giving the trillions away to these corporations and taking control of free market!!

    Keep giving more money to the IMF and world bank and take over and control of the third world countries.

    Pay off the UAW and CAW private pension plans.

    Increase carbon taxes, way to go BC! Gordo is in power now.....hopefully he will bump up the carbon tax more and this will be adopted throughout Canada soon!

    Carl Marx's vision...make it real!!

    This is where we are going like it or not. So start liking it!!
  41. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Hi Pupa; Who decided Intell's activities were illegal? As many have already pointed out - this sort of tactic is widely practiced by multiple companies. Is the objective to bring down any successful organization? I'd just as soon make up my own mind as to which processor I want to buy. If I want additional information I'll search for it. If I'm satisfied just to buy it, I'd like to do that also. So many rules and regulations are being cooked up behind closed doors; and these are certainly not to benefit the average citizen. I see the freedoms of everyone being deteriorated so quickly; it makes me glad I'm getting old. I couldn't handle living under complete dictatorship - and that's where we are headed. I was born free and would willingly give my life to stay free. I wish I had more company.
  42. B Lam from Canada writes: Why 1.4 billion? Why not make it 140 billion and bankrupt Intel? Is the fine given to AMD ?

    My personal experience with AMD cpu was not too favourable so I stick with Intel. Intel did not force me to buy their products and I am not an Intel shareholder.

    In any case, I call this highway robbery.
  43. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Hi Blade; I don't think it is the North American governments that are taking control of the free market. More like the elite money men whose goal is to bring down North America. With our dollar so closely tied to US currency, and the Federal Reserve (which is not controlled by the US government) working so hard to destroy the US dollar, our dollar must be worth about two cents by now. A one world government wants a one world standard of living. We have a long way to fall. I wonder if all those who consider themselves of superior intelligence are strong enough to handle it.
  44. Pupa S from Canada writes: [[[[Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Hi Pupa; Who decided Intell's activities were illegal? As many have already pointed out - this sort of tactic is widely practiced by multiple companies. Is the objective to bring down any successful organization? I'd just as soon make up my own mind as to which processor I want to buy. If I want additional information I'll search for it. If I'm satisfied just to buy it, I'd like to do that also. So many rules and regulations are being cooked up behind closed doors; and these are certainly not to benefit the average citizen. I see the freedoms of everyone being deteriorated so quickly; it makes me glad I'm getting old. I couldn't handle living under complete dictatorship - and that's where we are headed. I was born free and would willingly give my life to stay free. I wish I had more company.]]]]

    First of all I agree with you 'So many rules and regulations are being cooked up behind closed doors; and these are certainly not to benefit the average citizen. I see the freedoms of everyone being deteriorated so quickly.' In fact I wish that everyone is so alert that big governments and big corporates are under free people's watch. But the reality is far from it. Individuals are so isolated and misinformed to protect their freedom.
  45. Darwin Fish from Kitchener, Canada writes: Thanks for the opinions.

    For those actually knowledgeable about the industry over the last decade it has been very clear Intel abused their market share position during periods when AMD had a clearly better product.

    This is news to absolutely no one in tech.

    That said, the argument about buying a Pepsi at McDonalds is not without merit. The real culprit here is a failure on the part of government to better regulate a framework for competition, perhaps they should give themselves the fine.

    Ultimately the loss of AMD would be a tragedy, this industry since the race to a Gigahertz has thrived from their presence. Intel alone is a company that took ages to go from 60 to 133 Mhz at several $hundred a pop.
  46. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Do you know Darwin, who would get the money if Intel loses?
    If AMD was had a better product, I would think that the techs would be in an ideal position to advise users of this fact. I still object to 'regulations', and more regulations, and more regulations. Why would the computor companies accept the deals being offered by Intel? I would guess customer demand for Intel. If there was enough demand for AMD, Intel would have been out of luck in attempts for monopoly, would they not?
  47. Rob Forteath from Calgary, Canada writes: The need for anti-trust protection became obvious fairly quickly during ther Industrial Revolution. I can't believe some people are pretending this is something new that those one-world government meanies in Europe are trying to inflict on the pure good capitalist Americans.

    Seriously, people -- nobody has to prove that AMD has a better product at the moment. If Intel is using illegal means to exclude competition, that's enough to warrant an anti-trust charge. Regardless of which product consumers would choose in a competitive marketplace, the point is that Intel has worked to create a non-competitive market.
  48. one thinker from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: if AMD was had a better product, I would think that the techs would be in an ideal position to advise users of this fact.

    The techs did advise the consumers that ADM was a better and cheaper product than intel but no retailer or computer company wanted to sell AMD because Intel was paying them off not too. Now, ADM doesn't have the capital to compete against Intel because they couldn't make money out of their product when it was way better than intel's. Plus who can blame them if they give up, what assurance they have that intel wont do it again.

    You could argue against all the regulations you want and how the government wants to control everything and you might be right. Nevertheless in this case what Intel did to AMD was not only unfair to that company but also unfair to us as consumers.
  49. Joseph Whistle from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up: perhaps Carol should go back to sleep.
    Just like there are rules for companies to operate in the US, there are rules to operate in Europe. To think that companies can trample on everything they please in Europe just because they are owned by America, is highly highly arrogant. Probably a Con.

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