EU Fines Intel $1.4B For Paying Off Suppliers To Use Their CPUs

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Computer chipmaker Intel has been fined a record 1.06bn euros ($1.45bn) by the European Commission for anti-competitive practices, dwarfing the 497M euro fine levied on Microsoft in 2004 for abusing its dominant market position.

The Commission found that between 2002 and 2007, Intel had paid manufacturers and a retailer to favour its chips over those of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

The Commission said that personal computer makers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC had all been given hidden rebates if they only used Intel chips.

Intel has announced that it will appeal against the verdict.

"Intel takes exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor market," Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said.

"There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal," he added.

The fine was welcomed by AMD, which had lodged complaints in 2000, 2003 and 2006.

"The EU decision will shift the power from an abusive monopolist to computer makers, retailers and above all PC consumers," said Giuliano Meroni, AMD's European president.

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