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July 12, 2005    

EC raids Intel on antitrust claims

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by Brian Turner
EC raids Intel on antitrust claims

Investigators from the European Commission raided the offices of Intel EMEA on Tuesday, looking for evidence that the chipmaker has violated European Union antitrust laws.

Intel confirmed that two offices, one in Munich and the other in Swindon, were entered as part of an ongoing investigation into Intel’s business dealings.

The investigation is also looking at Intel’s distribution partners as well as at PC makers which use Intel’s chips.

An Intel spokesman said that the company is cooperating with the investigation, but that it believes its activities are fair and legal.

The investigation into whether Intel has tried to eliminate competition for its product - which was begun after a complaint by Intel competitor AMD - began in 2001 but was suspended earlier in the year when no evidence of wrongdoing was found.

In March, however, investigators in Japan found that Intel had in fact engaged in anticompetitive behavior by offering rebates to several PC makers if they would refrain from buying chips from AMD.

Intel denied that it had done anything wrong in Japan, but AMD re-filed its accusations with the EC, spurring the re-opening of the investigation there.

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