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EU shows off emails behind Intel action

Under fire from Intel, EU released Dell, HP emails detailing the control and retribution Intel exacted.

Facing an onslaught of recriminations from the Intel PR machine, European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes released reams of emails and other documents detailing exactly what Intel did to earn it a €1.06 million fine, the New York Times reports.

  • 2003 -- An internal presentation for Dell notes that the company cannot switch any components to AMD without risking retaliation by Intel that “could be severe and prolonged with impact to all (lines of business)."
  • 2002 -- An HP exec tells other employees to keep an agreement with Intel on the QT. "PLEASE DO NOT...¦ communicate to the regions, your team members or AMD that we are constrained to 5% AMD by pursuing the Intel agreement."
  • 2004 -- Another HP email warns sales staff that HP can only sell AMD-based PCs direct:
    You can NOT use the commercial AMD line in the channel in any country, it must be done direct. If you do and we get caught (and we will) the Intel moneys (each month) is gone (they would terminate the deal). The risk is too high.

Intel, of course, was quick to criticize this action.

The Commission relied heavily on speculation found in e-mails from lower level employees that did not participate in the negotiation of the relevant agreements, if they favored the commission’s case,” Robert Manetta, an Intel spokesman in London, said.

The EU denied accusations that it ignored documents that could have excuplated Intel and focused on negative documents.

"During the proceedings Intel was able to comment fully on all the Commission’s evidence outlined in the decision,” it said in a statement accompanying the published emails and documents. “Indeed, the commission went beyond its legal obligations in safeguarding Intel’s rights of defense,” it said.