updated 11:15 am EST, Tue February 12, 2008
EU Raids on Intel
European Commission officials announced today that they had launched unannounced raids on Intel and multiple major resellers of the company's systems. Both the semiconductor firm's Munich, Germany office as well as those of UK-based DSG International (which runs the Dixons and Currys chains) and Germany's Media Markt-Saturn were given the surprise visits this morning to collect information about possible antitrust violations committed by Intel and its partners. The raids have been acknowledged by Intel, which is "cooperating" with the Commission, according to spokesman Chuck Mulloy.
The raids come in advance of a two-day hearing starting March 11th where Intel will have to answer to charges leveled against it by the European regulatory body, which accuse the company of abusing its dominance in the computer processor market to drive out competitors such as AMD. Among the accusations, Intel has allegedly offered retailers such as DSG or Media Markt-Saturn incentives to emphasize Intel-based computers over rivals as well as sold processors at a loss to the market as a whole in an attempt to drive the financially weaker AMD out of the region.
Intel has typically denied the claims and instead argued that the originator of the complaint, AMD itself, was using the European Commission to achieve retribution for Intel's control of the market in the area.