A further case which indicates the Commission's confidence following the Microsoft judgement is the case against chip giant Intel. Formal charges in a Statement of Objections have been sent to Intel after a six-year investigation into anti-competitive practices allegedly carried out by the firm. These outlined the Commission's preliminary view that Intel has infringed Article 82 (abuse of a dominant position). The infringements are aimed at excluding Intel's main rival, AMD from the computer processing units (CPU) market.
The Commission has outlined three types of abuse of a dominant position:
- Intel has provided substantial rebates to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) conditional on them obtaining all or the greater majority of their CPU requirements from Intel;
- Intel made payments to OEMs to induce them to delay or cancel the launch of a product line incorporating an AMD based CPU; and
- Intel has offered CPUs on average below cost, in bids against AMD based products in the server segment of the market.
Intel has 10 weeks in which to reply to the Statement and will then have the right to be heard in an oral hearing. If the preliminary views expressed in the Statement of Objections are confirmed the Commission may require Intel to cease the abuse and may impose a fine of up to 10% of its annual revenue.