Will Intel face antitrust case in Australia?

Will Intel face antitrust case in Australia?

Summary: AMD wins in Europe as the European Commission fines Intel $1.45 billion for anti-competitive behavior. Will AMD try to repeat its success Down Under?

AMD has not ruled out moving its battle against Intel's antitrust behavior onto Australian soil.

The European Commission Wednesday fined Intel more than €1 billion ($1.45 billion) for violating antitrust legislation after receiving complaints from rival AMD.

The EU found that Intel had been illegally keeping AMD out of the market by giving rebates to computer manufacturers on condition that they bought all their CPUs from Intel and making payments to manufacturers to delay the launch of specific products containing competitors' CPUs.

AMD said it had never filed an antitrust complaint against Intel in Australia, but would not confirm or deny whether the company would consider filing a complaint in the country given the European win.

In place of a direct answer, ZDNet.com.au received a statement from Ben Williams, AMD corporate VP Asia Pacific. "Today, I would like to focus our attention on this important ruling by the EU. I wish to highlight the EU ruling is about consumers, who were hurt by Intel's illegal conduct, but now will benefit from greater choice, innovation and value. Fair and open competition spurs competitors to innovate faster and to price more competitively. That means that consumers will be the direct beneficiaries of the EC ruling," he said.

The Intel case has not been the only antitrust case in Europe, with Microsoft stepping often into the firing line. Qualcomm also gained the Commission's attention.

Across the Atlantic, the US has also seen antitrust legislation exercized liberally to keep technology giants fair. Microsoft, Intel and Oracle have all come under scrutiny.

Australia, however, has not seen antitrust action against any of these players, despite the fact that it has strong trading relationships with both jurisdictions and has formed an agreement to share antitrust information with the US.

When asked why this was so, and whether the government would seek a stronger stance on antitrust in technology, spokespeople for Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy and Innovation Minister Kim Carr directed the queries elsewhere.

The ACCC declined to comment as it could not give out any information on investigations that might or might not occur in the future.

Competition Minister Chris Bowen's office has as yet not been able to provide comment.

Topics: Processors, Enterprise Software, Intel, Security

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Setting Boundaries

    I hope that Australia will do what America should have done a long time ago and reign in Intel.

    Like America Australia has a vigorous and productive inventor community. Those inventors create jobs and bring prosperity to their communities. The problem is that transnational corporations are crushing independent, academic and small business inventors and transferring the benefits of their inventions to low wage countries.

    While I think that Intel deserves quality time they are by no means the only company whose conduct deserves scrutiny. I suggest that any of the members of of a trade group going by the name of the Coalition for Patent Fairness are equally deserving. Companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Micron, Dell, HP, Apple and the rest of the Piracy Coalition members are in my opinion all deserving.

    Good business is based on delivering fair value and good service. Lasting business to business is based on equitable profit. It is unfortunate that many if not most large businesses lose track of these guiding principles.

    Today transnational corporations have become greedy parasites who take advantage of people in developed and developing countries alike.

    The reality of so called "Free Trade" is Irresponsible Trade which benefits the transnational at the expense of everyone else.

    Small business usually only grows by taking good care of their customers while big business often conducts themselves in a manner which would in the absence of their ability to influence the authorities likely lead to criminal or civil enforcement actions.

    The pendulum swung too far in favor of disreputable business interests and it is long past the time that that these businesses have boundaries.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

  • Intel has performed a miracle

    they have put a computer in almost every home
    they are the most successful maker of processors
    so lets punish them so that the others have a chance
    oh wait
    AMD did have a chance and they blew it
    Do you think AMD would have sold as many chips this year without Intel?
    If Intel went away there would soon be no computers to buy
    We should be thanking them not robbing them and their stock holders who have constitutional rights to their property.
    • You sir are dilusional. IBM and microsoft put computers in everyone house.

      as far as intel goes.. they were no the chosen from the start.. but they quickly gained acceptance.

      Their practice of holding back chips to ensure revenue, paying others to not stock other brands and forcing exclusive deals hurt everyone.

      AMD has ligitimate complaints, so would cyrex if they were still around.

      To tell you the truth.. VIA chipsets are now more frequent than amd or intel. They are a sleeping giant. But they are competing honestly.. unlike intel.

  • RE: Will Intel face antitrust case in Australia?