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back to article Intel's record fine will lead to civil suits, says expert

The European Commission has issued its biggest ever competition law fine to computer chip maker Intel. One competition law expert said that the billion euro fine will "open the floodgates" for civil actions that could cost the company further. Intel has been fined €1.06bn over secret payments and rebates to retailers who agreed …

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Takes two to tango

I think those companies that bent over for Intel and took the backhanders should also be punished.

And where does the 1.06 billion Euro fine end up? I would guess it doesn't end up in the hands of those who suffered as a result of this anti-competitive behaviour.

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Thumb Up

I hope AMD sues the pants off of Intel

(IMHO) Shady practices such as this are at least partially responsible for the situation the world economy is in today.

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Go

Well said

"For any dominant company this case illustrates the special responsibility that they have to competitors that you don't have if you are not dominant. You cannot have unfair loyalty or fidelity rebates, you can't pay distributors to sell at the exclusion of competitors,"

And they all know it, but much because the US DoJ gave in to Microsoft, they keep thinking they can get away with it. Or the advantage (bye behaving in a criminal way) is much bigger anyway.

Well done EU.

There is no reason to let companies behave in a criminal, mafia, manner.

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Jobs Horns

I can't wait for Google ....

to be pardoned by Uhhhbama.

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Happy

Good

Now I hope AMD will sue Intel for damage... after all, how much of AMD's current weaknesses are due to Intel bribing them out of business?

I would consider a class action lawsuit (from a consumer point of view), but during the period considered here I managed to stick with the superior yet cheaper AMD chips... :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Alternative approach...

Why not study their accounts and choose some point in time where their revenues were 1B and then not allow them to sell any products in Europe for that same length of time. That would also have the knock-on effect of punishing those who colluded with them. Only shipments of parts allowed would be to honour warranties. Might take a while but the people who needed to feel it would feel it and the bastards who needed to suffer would suffer. It would also give companies like AMD a bit of time to recover lost ground they might have not given up were it not for Intel's shady practices.

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europe must be desperate for money...

I don't get it. If they don;t like microsoft and they don't like intel they should stop whining and come up with their own processors and operating system... oh wait they can't . because all the smart people leave europe ...

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Pirate

It could have all been avoided

If Intel had behaved ethically instead of doing whatever it thought it could get away with.

Paying people not to sell a competitors goods? Phrase it how you want, what made them think that was ok?

And I have to agree with the first poster. Those who are modifying their behaviour on account of a bribe that ought to be fined too.

How about a new rule, saying that those companies assessed to have significant monopoly power has to publish prices per given quantity and stick to those? Anyone who shops them to the authorities gets to keep the difference which is taken from a fine.

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@adnim: where the fine ends up

The fine is paid into the same fund that national governments pay into to run the EU - unless Intel appeal, in which case Intel still have to pay within three months, but the money is held in trust. If the appeal fails, decide for yourself if this means lower taxes or a higher EU budget.

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JC
Stop

@ europe must be desperate for money

First, "Europe" is not a company, let alone a single nation. It is entirely reasonable for them to offer minimal, albeit slow, action against Intel's practices.

Did you consider that if companies like Intel are doing this, that's a large part of why someone else can't compete, that they have deprofitized competitive actions to the point where a competitive startup would be quite difficult. Look at nVidia, their foot is in the door and even they can't keep a straight face and vie for 4th place after Via.

The notion that all the smart people leave Europe is absurd, except to the extent that those most talented, given the will to do so, will go to where the work is which brings us back to square one - Intel's behavior making competition difficult for a startup to succeed at all, even AMD's bottom line shows as much despite having a close enough price:performance parody, sometimes even an advantage, in the high volume lower end market segment.

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Gates Horns

I must be stupid

But doesn't Microsoft, to this very day, do exactly the same things that intel have been found guilty of?

I mean they offer rebates and marketing dollars to OEMs in exchange for them refusing to ship competitors products don't they? Don't MS also get a cut of the sale from every PC sold whether it has windows on it or not? (The MS tax) Not even intel managed to get away with that!

Even when an oem does offer a competing OS it is usually restricted to a single model with lower specs which often costs the same as or more than other better spec'ed models with 'doze on them.

So where is the suit against Microsoft?

Oh, and also, where the hell is the Evil Fester icon?

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Anonymous Coward

@vincente

Apart from the obvious riposte (t*@t), not all the smart people leave. There are a considerable number of very talented people working both in the UK and Europe. However, they do tend to be working for American companies, with European divisions. (often started in Europe by Europeans and then taken over)

Why? Because the American companies are generally in better shape that the UK ones, having much more cash etc. And how did they get to this position? Well, better ask Intel. They are the experts.

Anon - I work for one of the above....with some very talented individuals indeed, making world class products that are way above what anyone else can make. Designed by Europeans, marketed by Europeans, supported (mostly) by Europeans, manufactured in Far East and used worldwide.

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