Intel's bid to overturn a massive $1.45 billion fine from the EU has resulted in the exposure of potentially damning emails as European anti-trust regulators seek to justify their position.
The emails show PC executives at Dell, and Hewlett-Packard concerned about reprisals from Intel if they were to use microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices.
Intel operates a large fund used to help pay for marketing costs for PC firms that use its chips. Because profit margins in PC sales are so razor thin, the Intel money is important to many companies. Some of the released emails appear to show concern that Intel might cut those funds if AMD based PCs are sold.
Some of the emails:
... a Dell executive wrote: "Boss, here's an outline of the framework we discussed with Intel. (…) Intel is ready to send [Intel Senior executive] /[Intel executive] /[Intel executive] to meet with [Dell Senior Executive]/[Dell Senior Executive]/[Dell Executive] . (...) Background: [Intel Senior executive] /[Intel Senior executive] are prepared for [all-out war] 1 if Dell joins the AMD exodus. We get ZERO MCP [name of Intel rebate to Dell] for at least one quarter while Intel 'investigates the details' (...) We'll also have to bite and scratch to even hold 50 percent, including a commitment to NOT ship in Corporate. If we go in Opti [Dell product series for corporate customers], they cut it to <20 percent and use the added MCP to compete against us. "
Intel says that the emails are not representative of its policies.
Intel is "convinced that the commission's conclusions regarding our business practices are wrong, both factually and legally," company spokesman Robert Manetta said. "The commission relied heavily on speculation found in emails from lower level employees that didn't participate in the negotiation of the relevant agreements," he added.
Intel and AMD will be contesting a civil anti-trust suit in the US next year.