EU to levy huge fine on Intel, hearing set for Microsoft

EU to levy huge fine on Intel, hearing set for Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft and Intel are taking it on the chin in Europe these days. On Wednesday, the EU is expected to bring down a heavy fine on Intel for its myriad anticompetitive activities at the expense of AMD.

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Microsoft and Intel are taking it on the chin in Europe these days. On Wednesday, the EU is expected to bring down a heavy fine on Intel for its myriad anticompetitive activities at the expense of AMD. The Wall Street Journal reports it will be one of the biggest fines in the EU's history.

The anticompetetition commissioner can fine Intel as much as 10 percent of its annual revenue. That would be a $3.8 billion fine based on 2008 revenue, more than triple the $1.16 billion charged to Microsoft for noncompliance in the EU's long-running antitrust action against Redmond.

And speaking of Redmond, we can expert a hearing June 3-5 on charges that Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows is an antitrust violation, PCWorld reports.

The Europen Commission could fine Microsoft, force it to offer other browsers, or require a "kill switch" in Windows that would disable IE.

Microsoft has added a "kill switch" of sorts to Windows 7 that will let users prevent IE8 from running. Opera's CEO, however, has said that he considers Microsoft's move to be insufficient. The company's Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC), which is expected to publicly launch tomorrow, will be the first chance most users have of testing that kill switch.

Topics: EU, Browser, Intel, Legal, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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204 comments
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  • Let 'em have it.

    Because it won't change their behavior in any way. Instead of issuing a fine to the company, the EU should fine the shareholders. You want to see some quick action in a company's attitude change? That would do it.
    kozmcrae
    • Very good point.

      That'd make the "get richer and richer quicker and quicker any which way and stuff the consequences even if it's the future of the globe" parasites that live amongst the human population think more carefully about where they put their darling precious money.
      fr0thy2
    • Except, of course...

      ...the members of the EU commission already have MS stock, probably through retirement plans. Same with Intel.

      So they'd be fining themselves if they fined stockholders.

      Besides, most stockholders are non-EU citizens. Would not be pretty...

      Although, when you think about it, fining the company *does* fine the stockholders. Where do you think part of that money comes from, eh?

      Oh, and your bigotry is showing. Better tone it down. :)
      wolf_z
    • Intel would eventually be prohibited from even selling product in the EU.

      They will have to obey the ruling, or face even higher fines and the possibility of being closed out of the EU market for a while.

      Great to see Intel forced to compete at least more on the merits!!!
      DonnieBoy
      • They have been competing 'on the merits'

        The fact is that they just have a better product than AMD right now with their Core 2 Duo and Core i7 processors.
        Lerianis
        • What? Did you even read the finding?

          How is paying OEM's not to use AMD chips and then telling them the percentage of computers they are allow to sell with AMD chips if the choose AMD over them competing on merits?

          EU is saying everyone should be allow a slice of the pie. If the consumer doesn't want AMD then they will die off. That's how competition works.

          It has nothing to do with who has the better chip.

          Intel was blocking AMD from having a fair chance of getting in to the pie let alone a slice.
          Randalllind
          • true

            great response!! intel SHOULD get slammed for that.
            Alro
          • yea... if thats the whole story...

            but Intel still makes better chips...
            shadfurman
          • The i7 is a great chip

            I don't own one, I only buy AMD. My theory is if I can get a chip that will give me the power I want, from another source, that will help keep the competition going a little longer. I remember what it was like 15 years ago. Intel didn't really have any competition till AMD got in the mix. They effectively killed any competing chip maker by changing the industry standards to fit their chip and not anyone elses. AMD effectively beat them to the punch with the Athlon.

            The new AMD Phenom II 955 is roughly equal to the i7 920. There is about $25 difference, but I get the competition, so they will be able to sell at least 1 more. AMD is making a much better chip than they had in the last few years. Long term, they seem to be trying to make it easier to upgrade and stay with them. Intel is trying to get everything changed over to DDR3 and i7, to large a cost for the average buy to throw out right now.
            mjolnar@...
          • Exclusive deals are the norm?

            Can you order a Caddilac with a Ford engine? Nope, they are exclusively GM engines. So what?
            No_Ax_to_Grind
          • Caddilacs don't sell well in Europe

            so it's indeed a moot point. But thanks anyway.

            Hey, now we're at it - would you mind disclosing to us what the title is of that Powerpoint book that you so boasted about to have co-written?
            Be a sport.
            nizuse
          • not a Caddilac with a Ford engine, but...

            I can tell you some cars wich use VW engines: SEAT and ?koda.
            comache
          • Could you get any less relevant?

            If Intel manufactured the complete computer, your analogy might be valid. As it is, you're approaching the lunatic fringe from the far side. Since that does seem to be your usual stance, no surprises there.

            A fairer comparison might be if GE was caught bribing or otherwise coercing aircraft manufacturers to use their jet engines instead of Pratt Whitney or Rolls Royce engines.
            DNSB
          • Bad analogy

            Cadillac is made by GM, dell is not made by Intel. I don't mind if Intel tells Dell that they will sell them the chip for x $ less if they buy in this quantity. I do, however mind if they tell Dell that they will charge them more if Dell builds more than x% with AMD. That is Price fixing and monopolistic.

            MicroSoft tells Dell that they can have OEM O/Ss at a super low price, because Dell will sell more that way. If they were to use the Intel business plan, they would be breaking the rules as well. It doesn't matter if they are 90% of the market. No one should be allowed to dictate how another company had to operate.
            mjolnar@...
          • EU anti-trust

            These suits are industry killers, intentional attempts to grab whole industries from other countries. GM is near backrupcy but in the 50's it was subject to a divesture as a "monopoly." You should hop in your foreign car and go rent "Roger and Me" and see where this is all headed.
            TIME TO FIGHT BACK AMERICA!
            Prof. LittleOldman
      • This would have gone away

        if Intel built their own plant in Dresden.

        Or is it a coincident that after AMD finalized the plans to build a fabrication plant in Dresden, Germany, the EU agrees to investigate Intel the following year?

        was the outcome even in doubt after the ground breaking?
        GuidingLight
        • Better still!

          Better still if Intel bought the real estate from Neelie Kroes.
          Too Old For IT
        • I think you are looking for excuses.

          If the business practice is illegal it doesn't make any difference where the business is located. The laws were on the books before the plant was even talked about. The EU does look after business in Europe, but if Intel was based in France, they would still have been hit because of what they were doing.
          mjolnar@...
        • Not quite... Intel in Ireland since 1989.

          Totally inacurate and moot point.
          Intel has been operating in the EU long since before it was called the EU.
          Intel Ireland's fab operations have been around since 1989 and employ over 5000.
          Nice try, though.
          Skidpalace
      • Whose product? Please fix your grammar.

        I think you mean "Intel would eventually be prohibited from selling their products in the EU".

        "product" is such a soulless word anyway, but that's our society in a nutshell anyway...
        HypnoToad72