The EU has decided to fine chip giant Intel a massive $1.45 billion (€1.06 billion for the Europeans out there) for allegedly locking AMD out of the chip market by giving large OEMs discounts on chips.
The EU ruled that Intel had illegally used hidden rebates to lock rivals out of the CPU market. In a statement issued by European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes she said:
Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years.
Intel has been ordered to cease the illegal practices and the company has three months to pay.
Intel has already issued a statement that indicates that the company plans to appeal the decision:
Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal.
The record fine dwarfs the €497 million that was initially levied against Microsoft by the EU. Intel can count itself lucky as it could have faced a file of as much as 10% of its global turnover – which would have added up to a whopping $3.7 billion.