Wintel alliance, so known in the 1980s and 1990s got slapped with a record 1.6 billion Euro fine. Microsoft had to pay 497 million Euro back in 2004 and now Intel Corporation received a 1.06 billion Euro fine.
According to current change rates, 1.06 billion EUR amounts to 1.45 billion USD. This is an outcome of a nine-year investigation lead by the European Commission, an investigation that started after AMD filed a complaint in regards to cases in Germany [MediaMarkt and Saturn] and then it spread across the European Union.
We predicted that the verdict would be guilty and gave more details in our previous article, Intel set to lose billions in Denmark, EU, USA fines? The way how Intel used its MDFs was deemed "damaging" since it was proven that Intel used rebate schemes given to manufacturers if they only used Intel chips and in some cases, documentation was found stating that the "System Integrator" will receive funds if the company does not purchase AMD chips.
In a press release, Neelie Kroes [Competition Commissioner] inside EC gave out statement that "Intel harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years. Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU's antitrust rules cannot be tolerated."
After Korea, Japan, and Denmark, this is the highest fine to date. We expect that Intel will appeal the verdict, but knowing how the EU acted "friendly" towards Microsoft, don't expect too much. If you wondered why Intel didn't force AMD's hand with the x86 cross-license agreement this EU fine was a pretty good reason for it. Now, if Intel decides to push AMD and pressures the matter of the x86 license, it could get much messier than the current situation with the EU and EC.
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