Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Intel Businesses Government The Courts News

EU Regulator Raids Intel Offices 138

Posted by Zonk
from the bad-day-to-be-a-drone dept.
stevedcc writes "BBC news is reporting that Intel's offices in Munich, Germany have been raided by European Union competition regulators. From the article: 'The Reuters news agency reported that the Commission also raided computer retailers on Tuesday including Germany's Media Markt, which sells PCs with Intel central processing units but not those made by AMD. Regulators have the power to fine Intel up to 10% of annual turnover if they find it guilty of stifling competition. Intel has said it is "confident" it had acted lawfully.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EU Regulator Raids Intel Offices

Comments Filter:
  • by erick99 (743982) * <homerun@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:25AM (#22393192)
    "Intel has been accused of trying to abuse its dominant market position by selling its products below cost price and making cash payments to customers".


    Where do I get in line for this?

    • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:27AM (#22393228)
      You don't really want it. Competition would be way better in the long run. Competition keep prices down and innovation moving. If you really want to help the industry, buy AMD so that next time you are building a computer, you will still have the option to choose the CPU.
      • by beckerist (985855)
        If they are selling at below cost, doesn't that mean that competition is working?
        • by eln (21727) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:34AM (#22393320) Homepage
          Sure, it means that competition is present at the moment, but it also means they're attempting to eliminate the competition. A larger company will sell below cost because they know a smaller company will go bankrupt trying to compete on price well before they will. If this sort of thing goes unchecked, the larger company will jack up its prices after the competition is eliminated, and the end result will be no choice and high prices for consumers.

          • they're attempting to eliminate the competition.

            No, they are trying to eliminate the competitor(s). And by the way, this means that they are effectively competing.

            Your idea of the company bankrupting the other company is a misunderstanding. This happens extremely rarely; the overall cost of selling at a loss for a long time > the cost of competing for the future. Intel isn't try to do this at all, and it would need an absurd market situation for it to work, even if they wanted to. The actual situa

        • by s_p_oneil (795792) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:51PM (#22396000) Homepage
          No, it doesn't. It means that AMD is down and Intel is going in for the kill. If AMD is killed, competition in that market will be completely dead. CPU prices will soar, Intel won't need to spend so much on research, and everyone else will be so far behind Intel that no one will be able to catch up. In short, the consumers will get screwed.
      • you will still have the option to choose the CPU.

        Exactly, buying something at the lowest price now != being a rational actor in a market economy. It's the line of thinking that the only cost associated with doing business is the one I see right in front of me that has led to the credit crunch, the negative savings rate, and just about every other economic problem we have now. If we could please just squash that now, we would all be a lot better off. You save a few bucks now by going with a cheaper product,
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Actually, you're 180 degrees wrong. You're effectively rewarding incompetence. This is why many people are against the credit bail-out. You are saying that even though these companies made risky loans and lost a bundle of money on it, we're going to bail them out because it's in our best interests. This logic gets built into the market, and people start making bigger and bigger risks.

          Your "informed economic decision" effecitvely rewards a company for poor performance. Not only that but it gets you, t

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by agent_no.82 (935754)
            Except that given the situation here, the substantial costs of entering the CPU market mean that if Intel does end up bankrupting AMD, (which is quite close in performance outside the high range) there will be no serious competitors and thus significantly less incentive for them to continue a CPU arms race. Also, consumers will end up paying significantly more than they would otherwise.
            • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:34PM (#22395736)
              That's the way the market works. Let's say AMD goes out of business and Intel raises prices. Suddently, there's a huge incentive for competitors to come up with something new and better. If Intel charges $1500 for a 3GHz 8-core processor supposing AMD goes out of business, they've taken CPUs further away from being a commodity item (which they're dangerously close to now). Suddenly not only the big players but the small research companies have an incentive to do something new to take a part of that market.

              For example, they may develop a much faster incompatible chip which can run virtual machines emulating x86 at the same speed as a real x86 chip. Or they may just take AMD's IP and build on it to create a competitive chip and use someone else's fabs.

              High prices from a monopoly on a non-supply limited item are part of the marketplace. It drives innovation. So in the end, I don't even find your "worst case" scenario all that bad. But on a realistic front, AMD isn't going out of business. Even if they bankrupt their products will still be made and sold for the forseeable future by _someone_.

              • If that where right 100% of the time then where is the competition for microsoft? Your argument only works if the monopolyst is stupid enought to raise price enought to justify the entry of a competitor. Don't forget that any new competition need to make massive investment to join any existing market. The potential profits must justify this. If microsoft where to sell every copy of windows at 2000$ then there would be a lot better chance of a competitor entering the market. But it's not the case. Usualy cop
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  If that where right 100% of the time then where is the competition for microsoft?

                  You're joking, right? There is tons of competition for Microsoft. Linux in hundreds of variations, Apple, Open/FreeBSD, [Open],Solaris, and uncountable niche OS's. In the application space there are all kinds of products in every field they sell in that compete as well. This exactly highlights my point. People didn't like MS OS's and/or their prices, so they went and developed Linux and all the other OS's.

                  And that's precisely why MS doesn't charge a ridiculous amount of money for their product, they

                  • There is tons of competition for Microsoft. Linux in hundreds of variations, Apple, Open/FreeBSD, [Open],Solaris, and uncountable niche OS's.


                    Apple's OSX is tied to Aplle machines, of the Linux distros, only a handful come in question for the average user, and the the same goes for the rest.
                    A true alernative would have to be compatible, interchangable and fully legal. As it is, anybody who goes to buy 99% of software pruducts, will need to have MS Windows.
          • by explosivejared (1186049) <.hagan.jared. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:39PM (#22394210)
            It's a little different when you're bailing out Goldman Sachs, which doesn't have an 800 lb gorilla of monopoly on its back like AMD does. Bailing out banks for insane lending creates moral hazard and positively reinforces bad behavior. Investing in AMD doesn't. It promotes competition and a more efficient market.

            All those differentiations you speak about will suffer if there is only one manufacturer. And we all know how well the government busts up monopolies, so if you have any vested interest in CPU's, support AMD.

            Please do tell how promoting an actual market is a misguided sense of "econ-101." Note I was speaking about the specific AMD situation when making my argument. I'm not here to argue if all things are equal between the two, just that having AMD around is important.
            • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

              Investing in AMD doesn't. It promotes competition and a more efficient market.

              You're effectively giving charity to AMD. They can't win your money by making the best product, but you're convinced that it will somehow serve you in the long run. I don't know how you can rationally make such an analysis, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it if I were you. Your presumption seems to be that your dollars are going to go towards improving AMD. Do you have any evidence of this? How do you know your dollars aren't going towards the big-wigs in the company? Or huge inefficiencies? Or the

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by gr8scot (1172435)

                You're effectively giving charity to AMD. They can't win your money by making the best product, but you're convinced that it will somehow serve you in the long run. I don't know how you can rationally make such an analysis, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it if I were you.

                I also prefer the AMD brand in general, so much that even if they are marginally worse in price/performance at a particular time for a particular purpose, I would probably not buy the Intel chip, and I don't mind explaining my rationale. The price/performance difference would have to be quite a bit to get me to seriously consider Intel, because I remember the pressure their introduction put on Intel's prices not so long ago, and more recently I remember how quickly they surpassed Intel in performance, and

      • by dave420 (699308)
        Most folks just want the best processors, which at the moment means Intel. It's easy to forget most folks who buy CPUs aren't thinking about the effects of their purchase, they just want the best tool for the job. Maybe AMD should be more aggressive when it comes to their marketing and parter deals?
        • Best Processors (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Enderandrew (866215)
          At what level? At the top level, yes Intel has a lead right now. There is no denying that. But the low-end AMD processors are so cheap, they give far better bang for the buck. The last processor I bought was an AMD X2 3600+ brand new for $35. At the time, the cheapest comparable Intel dual-core offering was $150. They benchmarked about the same, and the X2 overclocks amazingly well.

          $35 or $150, wow that is a tough one.

          Again, Intel isn't always the best processor.
          • I was about to say - Most of the people spewing the intel is better than AMD crap are just reciting marketing BS.

            Thanks to the fact that there's no easy way to compare which processor is supposed to match up with which when it comes to comparing brands- the only way I find you can compare processors is price class. I find every AMD processor I've tested outperforms it's Intel same-price-class counterpart in benchmarks.

            Since we can't compare things like mhz anymore, all we have are benchmarks and price cla
          • by dave420 (699308)
            There's also power usage and manufacturing differences. Intel chips have historically had better engineering, and it's continuing to this day. Say it's marketing BS if you want, but that's been the case for ages. Intel isn't always the best processor, but for most folks it is.
            • The K6 and K7 lines were often better engineered than their Intel counterparts. The AMD Athlon 64 line was so good that Intel ended up copying it, and initially Intel couldn't seem to make a proper 64-bit processor, 3 years after AMD was selling one. The Athlon 64 was consistently kicking in the teeth of the P4 line. The Core 2 Duo line at the top is consistently beating the AMD line right now, but you can't say one historically has always been better than the other. It goes back and forth.
        • Most folks just want the best processors
          Very few people want the best processor. Most people want the cheapest processor that is 'good enough.'
          • Then, from their perspective, that is the best. This interjection isn't germane to the GPs' main point; that people generally choose the processor that suits their needs best at the lowest cost.
            • by foobsr (693224) *
              that people generally choose the processor that suits their needs best at the lowest cost

              Interesting how this is balanced when it comes to the OS.

              CC.
              • Well, back in the day, MS was a better option for most "general" work than Linux and Mac. We're talking 1995-1998ish. Nowadays, the advantage is because it's a government supported monopoly (copyright).
        • by lcsjk (143581)
          I think you should check the facts instead of believing the Intel marketing that says "Intel is the best". I have not yet read any article that gives Intel a lead except in higher prices.

          Have you ever wondered why Intel cannot sell their processors at the same low price as AMD? The size, transistor count etc., are comparable. Does anyone really believe that the Intel Fab houses are more expensive (for 20 years) than AMD or others?

          Some people think that the competition is "fair", and that Intel can se

      • by syousef (465911)
        If you really want to help the industry, buy AMD so that next time you are building a computer, you will still have the option to choose the CPU.

        Look I understand the importance of competition, and I like having a choice. However if the AMD CPU is inferior, rewarding the company by giving it money for that CPU guarantees a DECREASE in quality overall even if a choice between 2 players remains. What incentive is there for anyone to make a good CPU if people will still buy the crap one.

        Now if AMD put out a pr
  • Gone Too Far (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:30AM (#22393262)
    As to Media Markt, if they wish to sell only the crap from Intel, why shouldn't they be allowed to? Simply because you don't "like" a company (...Microsoft...) doesn't mean in a free market, retailers should not be able to be exclusive.

    When a group actually hates a company as much as people do here with Microsoft/Intel, it's easy to become overly biased against the rights of people to choose these two businesses.

    • Re:Gone Too Far (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Silver Sloth (770927) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:36AM (#22393344)
      How it works:-
      1. Dominant player in market cuts costs to below cost of manufacure
      2. Secondary player has to cut costs to match
      3. Secondary player has shallower pockets than dominant player and goes out of business
      4. Dominant player is now only player and can raise costs as high as they want to make back all they lost in action #1
      There are reasons for market regulators, and not just because we European liberals like big government.
      • I guess that also explains European government subsidies to Airbus.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by abigsmurf (919188)
        The problem is Intel are producing better chips than AMD and are able to make them for less because of lower failure rates and smaller die sizes. The main problem with the CPU industry at the moment is AMD are just doing bad in general and not keeping pace.
        • Re:Gone Too Far (Score:5, Insightful)

          by stevedcc (1000313) * on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:03PM (#22393742)

          The problem is Intel are producing better chips than AMD and are able to make them for less because of lower failure rates and smaller die sizes. The main problem with the CPU industry at the moment is AMD are just doing bad in general and not keeping pace.

          If this had always been true, it might be fair to say that AMD were a poor competitor. However, from the launch of the Athlon until the launch of the Core2, for several years, AMD had a better product, yet found major difficulties in getting market share. Intel's alleged tactics are illegal, and it's right that they should be properly investigated. It's just a pity that any fine imposed will hurt Intel but not benefit AMD or consumers, who are the real injured parties.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Guspaz (556486)
            It doesn't help that, the moment they start to get traction towards resolving their anti-trust concerns, their products take a nosedive in quality.

            In the CPU front, the Core 2 is spanking the Phenom in all market segments, although the Athlon series is still holding on to the very low-end on low cost alone.

            On the GPU front, they just gave up on the high end entirely for a while. The only way they can even compete with nVidia's 8800 series (which is about to be replaced with new cards) is to stick two of the
          • by abigsmurf (919188)
            I suppose. Depends on how far back the investigation goes. The EU aren't known for being up to speed in anti-trust cases (the record fine to nintendo was one of the worst cases of them lagging).
        • You don't think that has anything to do with how much money Intel can invest in their products compared to AMD? That's like saying black people shouldn't be allowed to go to school because they're uneducated, or that someone is too sick to get cancer. You have shown the symptom of the problem, not the cause.

          I tried to work Nazis in to my illustration, but failed.
          • by abigsmurf (919188)
            That's a false/bad analogy. You have a legal right to an equal chance at education and healthcare. Businesses don't have a legal right to force you to buy their products. There's simply little reason today for anyone to buy a phenom over a core2, it's simply an inferior product and currently that's being reflected in the sales of the products.
            • No, I think the analogy still holds. Irregardless of anyone's rights, people who are less educated will tend to do worse in school, yes? They don't send 8-year-olds to advanced calculus because they won't understand it. They may with years of training in between. It's the same for Intel/AMD. Intel has 8 times more money because they are a monopoly and get the vast majority of sales. Thus, they have 8 times more money to invest in making their products better. Therefore their products are better.

              Ju
      • Re:Gone Too Far (Score:5, Interesting)

        by matria (157464) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:59AM (#22393708)
        This happens in other markets as well. Some years ago my husband worked for Pfizer. Pfizer and most of the other big pharmaceuticals made penicillin. It wasn't exactly a large profit item, but a good seller. Then a European company started "dumping" and nobody else was willing to match their prices. So all the other pharmas quit making penicillin; most of them re-tooled their penicillin facilities to other products. Pfizer also quit making penicillin, but their equipment was so old they just left it sit. The European company misjudged and ended up going out of business. Suddenly there was no supply of penicillin. So for a couple of years, until some other companies got their penicillin facilities retooled back to making penicillin, Pfizer had the only world supply of penicillin,and could pretty much charge whatever they wanted.

        So this sort of behavior is definitely not a good thing. Except for Pfizer there for a while, anyway.
      • That's fine (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770)
        But that's clearly not the case with Intel. Their products are not being sold below cost, indeed they are making plenty of money. Also a little searching turns up that they aren't dumping (selling cheap abroad and full price at home) or anything like that. So what it appears to be is that Intel produces a quality product that AMD is having trouble competing with. Well, that's the free market at work. AMD's problem isn't that Intel is undercutting their prices to a level they can't sell at, their problem is
        • From TFA

          Intel has been accused of trying to abuse its dominant market position by selling its products below cost price and making cash payments to customers.
          Maybe TFA is wrong but they seem to have been accused of selling below cost.
          • Just by looking at their balance sheet. The whole "selling below cost" works when you are the biggest because you have a big wodge of cash so you can afford to lose money for awhile, which you will if your revenues are below your costs. However that's not what has been happening with Intel. Rather, they've been making tons of money. So it is pretty clear that while they may not be charging as much as they could, they aren't going below cost. This is especially true since the processors are their big market.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Pulzar (81031)
              This is especially true since the processors are their big market. I mean I could see Intel doing it with some other market, like say NICs, that is a small part of their business.

              It's exactly what they were doing when AMD was dominating the desktop and 1P/2P server performance with Athlon. They were giving big customers huge rebates on their desktop and 1P/2P server chips to keep AMD from gaining market share, while raking in the profits on the mobile and 4P+ server chip sales since they were still dominati
              • by makomk (752139)
                And this is exactly why this kind of anti-competitive practice is such an issue - large entrenched companies can price some of their products below the cost of production in order to drive a competitor out of business, while using profits made from areas with less strong competition to plug the shortfall.
        • by click2005 (921437)
          Intel has fabs in Leixlip, Ireland.
        • You fail to realize the time scale at which the anti-trust people operate on. This investigation is aimed at the time when AMD had the x86-64 (Opteron and Athlon) and Intel had the P4 and Pentium M. The AMD chips were destroying Intel in price/performance/power on desktops and small servers while Intel had the mobile market in a similar lock. What Intel is accused of doing to keep people Intel exclusive customers is discount the P4 chips to near the cost of producing them if they stayed Intel only and threa
      • Yes, but in a free market, there WILL be losers and winners. Otherwise, maybe we don't have a free market? It is, after all a competition to the death (the way we play it these days), it's not a friendly game where we split up the market and we all get some...
        • This assumes that you believe that a totally free market is a good thing(tm). We Europeans tend to take a more interventionist approach, especially where one competitor seems to have been accused of breaking the law. If Intell were sending round the goon squad to smash up AMDs manufacturing plants would this be Ok because

          there WILL be losers and winners
          • by giorgiofr (887762)

            We Europeans tend to...
            YOU speak for YOURSELF. I will "tend to" do as I please.
            • I'm not talking about you, nor was I expressing my personal view point, I'm talking about Europe which on average has far more interventionst governments than the US of A. You tend away all you like but, on average my point still holds.
      • 5. New competition enters the market as dominant player is now charging prices which are "high".

        There are almost zero examples of what you state actually occurring as you say it will. Normally because the cost to the dominant player of selling at a loss for a prolonged period of time is too high. Futhermore, you're confusing the word "cost" with "price". In this situation, the competitors are cutting prices below costs. They are not cutting costs.

        I'm guessing you might not be a native speaker, so th
    • by ArcherB (796902) *

      As to Media Markt, if they wish to sell only the crap from Intel, why shouldn't they be allowed to? Simply because you don't "like" a company (...Microsoft...) doesn't mean in a free market, retailers should not be able to be exclusive.

      The problem is not that Media Market was selling Intel because they liked them, but because they would get special deals from Intel if they DIDN'T sell AMD. That's what Intel (allegedly) does in markets where AMD might stand a chance.

      Think of it as the Walmart strategy. They move into a town and sell everything below what they pay for it. There is no way that the local stores can compete and go out of business. When Walmart is the only game in town, they raise prices and shift those profits to the next

      • The problem is not that Media Market was selling Intel because they liked them, but because they would get special deals from Intel if they DIDN'T sell AMD. That's what Intel (allegedly) does in markets where AMD might stand a chance.
        And this is business, as it has been for 100's of years. If AMD has a good product, they can do the same. By the way, last time I checked, the Apple Store doesn't sell Zunes. Shall I bitch at the regulators about competition?
    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)
      Whoa there buddy!

      Intel makes Apple CPU's now and as such they are beyond reproach!

      And the Lord came ford and said, "You better recognize."

    • by mpapet (761907)
      if they wish to sell only the crap from Intel, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

      This kind of mentality wrongly assumes that there is a sort of perfect market state that translates into people switching retailers/PC's as features/price change. This is totally untrue. Consumers of all kinds normally suffer all kinds of bad product based on a number of factors that can be generalized into the herd mentality. Look at how much consumers have been overcharged for CD's and DVD's.

      Intel isn't the only one doing i
      • This kind of mentality wrongly assumes that there is a sort of perfect market state that translates into people switching retailers/PC's as features/price change.

        If I want to change from an Intel to a AMD CPU, like I did last year, all you have to do is purchase the replacement CPU and an appropriate motherboard. All other perhipherals are usable under either system. It doesn't get much easier than that ... It isn't like I have to throw away my video card or data to upgrade CPU's.
        • In the non-technical world your statements are generally inconceivable.

          1. If you are running windows like most consumers in the world, you cannot do that without a fresh install of the OS. As more of these users are forced into Vista, this gets harder as there are license restrictions preventing this.

          2. Regardless of OS, you understand that the bits and bobs are roughly interchangeable. You are in the minority.

          3. the vast majority of computer users are not you and generally don't mind over paying for thei
          • by Anonymous Coward

            1. If you are running windows like most consumers in the world, you cannot do that without a fresh install of the OS. As more of these users are forced into Vista, this gets harder as there are license restrictions preventing this.

            You should get your geek card suspended for a week. Not only is it possible to do without reinstalling the OS, it is pretty easy.

            Step 1: Open the device manager and remove the chipset drivers
            Step 2: Power down the system and replace the motherboard
            Step 3: Boot system and install

          • If you are running windows like most consumers in the world, you cannot do that without a fresh install of the OS. As more of these users are forced into Vista, this gets harder as there are license restrictions preventing this.

            Like the AC said, I swapped out chips and motherboards without reinstalling Windows. Just installed updated firmware drivers and an AMD dual core patch to Windows and I was good to go.

            Regardless of OS, you understand that the bits and bobs are roughly interchangeable. You are in
          • by maxume (22995)
            It is impossible for somebody to willingly overpay for something. Value is in the eye of the buyer.

            I see where you are coming from, that people are paying higher prices than they would be in a better functioning market, but I'm not sure that the seller automatically gets blamed, or even that the situation needs remedy. Take something like tobacco -- essentially every single user would actually be better off in the long term if they stopped using tobacco, but if you asked them, on average, they aren't going
      • Well, then, the only real solution is where The State operates all retail stores and markets all products equilly. As in Cuba and Soviet Russia.
        • It's cute that you think the only reaction to a market failure is communism instead of regulation.
      • This kind of mentality wrongly assumes that there is a sort of perfect market state that translates into people switching retailers/PC's as features/price change. This is totally untrue. Consumers of all kinds normally suffer all kinds of bad product based on a number of factors that can be generalized into the herd mentality. Look at how much consumers have been overcharged for CD's and DVD's.

        Only to an extent. If what I will call the vendors' mistake (buying expensive processors) produces a difference i

    • by henni16 (586412)

      As to Media Markt, if they wish to sell only the crap from Intel, why shouldn't they be allowed to?


      I'm pretty sure it isn't about prohibiting them to sell what they want.
      It's a lot more likely they targeted MediaSaturn to gather evidence for illegal business practices by Intel, i.e. finding out whether the decision to go Intel-only is based on bribes, kickbacks etc.
  • Karma Calling? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by pembo13 (770295)
    for what they did to OLPC?
    • by TomRC (231027)
      Oh please. Competition between AMD and Intel is good and necessary, but competition between OLPC and Intel's Classmate is bad and Intel is evil for trying to promote its product?
  • by mikeabbott420 (744514) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:33AM (#22393310) Journal
    When this happens in Ireland it will be a surprise.
  • What about Saturn? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xelios (822510) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:37AM (#22393362)
    Saturn is another big electronics retailer in Germany, will they be raided too? Because like Media Markt they don't sell AMD either. Not surprising considering they're both owned by the Metro conglomerate [wikipedia.org]. Must make for some good 'competition' in the electronics market...
    • Actually Media Markt and Saturn are owned by the same holding company (the "media saturn holding" ;))
    • by Znork (31774)
      Must make for some good 'competition' in the electronics market.

      Well, one can seriously wonder about people who buy computer equipment at Media Markt. They're yet another of those 'trick the consumer into visiting our shop by advertising products we don't have for prices we wont sell them for then talk them into a sale' corporations that don't even dare list their prices on comparison sites.

      I wouldn't trust them to sell me an electric toothbrush, nevermind a CPU.
  • The EU recently raided [eubusiness.com] several Classification Societies [wikipedia.org] belonging to IACS [wikipedia.org] for the same reason. Could they be flexing their muscles? How long has this agency been active?
    • That's weird... aside from 'competition concerns', I don't quite grok the connection between ship inspectors (I know, but for brevity that's what I'm calling 'em), and the computer industry.

      It's like there's some guy in Brussels with a blindfold and a great big dartboard, each segment of it tagged with an industry ripe for legal harassment or something.

      I mean, if they're that eager to insure competition and to stamp out anti-competitive behavior, then why not abandon the formal niceties (and periodic fi

    • For at least a decade if not decades. It's best way to secure compromising documentation when there's more than two parties or several locations involved. One tip-off might throw parts or the whole case and with todays communications it's easily done. They're usually called "dawn raids".

      From what I've read I think that it's often a tip-off that starts the investigation, then they investigate that company which quite often is helpful and turns on the partners because that will lessen the fines from the co
  • Confident it has acted lawfully? As opposed to absolutely sure? Or some other such stronger words?

    Me thinks maybe Intel got it's hand caught in the cookie jar and is now trying some slick lawyer way of denying that there were any cookies in the first place or some such thing.
  • Printers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:43AM (#22393444)
    It's interesting that this is a big deal in the chip industry but not with printers... Everyone knows printers get sold for nothing and all the money is made on the ink and paper. You don't here about raids for selling printers below cost. I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of profit comes from CPU's versus graphics chips, chipsets, controllers and the myriad of other products that AMD and Intel make. If CPUs don't represent a significant portion of the income for either business - what difference does it make? In that case they're both obviously playing the printer game where their CPU is priced cheap so that you'll buy their chipset, graphics, etc chips too.
    • Re:Printers? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dasbush (1143709) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @11:54AM (#22393622)

      Everyone knows printers get sold for nothing and all the money is made on the ink and paper. You don't here about raids for selling printers below cost
      Since it is generally accepted by all printer manufacturers that there is no money in printer, but rather in the ink, all the companies are doing it. In fact, since there are more than two companies doing this practice and surviving (even thriving) then it clearly is not a monopoly. If there were only two printer companies in the world, and the much larger one started selling ink for nothing, then the analogy would be comparable.

      That said, you raise an interesting point about where Intel/AMD make their money. Is it in the CPU or the Mobo's/Video Cards/etc that are optimized to work with the CPU?
      • That said, you raise an interesting point about where Intel/AMD make their money.

        I think they make their money by having an effecient high volume plan including very high quality control. If 2 companies make a product, the high volume can do a lower cost per unit. If the defect rate makes 1/3 of one companies product hit the trash while the other company is shipping at 90% yield and is ahead on the performance curve, they can underprice the competition with volume, effeciency and scale. I think AMD had a
      • Provided AMD had no other major business in the platform world before their acquisition of ATI, you can guess where their profit came from.
        AMD refused to enter the chipset and platform market in the 90s for a lack of ressources They let VIA, SIS and other 3rd parties provide the platform for their flagchip processors, which lead to many problems, as those were not really up to the task (usually good hardware, but not always stable drivers). When nvidia entered the platform market from the graphic side (with
    • The raid does not prove they are guilty, but it may provide evidence!

      If the suspicions is of price rigging through threats to media markt, then perhaps there will be incriminating e-mails.

      OTOH, We dont need incriminating e-mails to know that Lexmark are guilty - why not just fine them - a lot - I'd love lower taxes!

  • by sane? (179855) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:25PM (#22394028)

    I mean, come on. Its well known that governments will attempt to physically raid companies in search of the evidence they don't have. This is a high tech firm. Surely any sensible CEO would ensure that any questionable docs were held securely in another (corrupt) country, behind heavy duty encryption and only accessible by remote session.

    Its not as if there would be a vast number of them, and the skills to make this invisible to the raiding agencies are not likely to be in short supply in somewhere like Intel.

    All you can assume is that these raids are a show of force, not seriously expected to deliver anything of value.

  • There were several articles about a year ago about Intel limiting shipment of CPUs to retailers who dared to sell AMD products. This was back when Athlon64 was king of the hill and P4's were terrible. Sadly, I'm not sure if much came out of that. It may be for this reason that the newer AMD chips are not as great. AMD may have never gotten the extra profit it was entitled to make the next better generation of chips. Seeing how slow most governments are to respond this may be a response to that initial
    • Personally I think Intel should get fined anyhow. AMD needs a little help to make sure they survive. If AMD bites the dust we all loose in a big way.

      If AMD dies, someone else will take their place. Intel has done nothing that other industries don't do and punishing them for making better chips than AMD and exploiting that advantage is immoral. (Because that's what this really boils down to--AMD is not as equipped for survival as Intel is, and is suffering for it.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How many times does Intel have to go through the same investigations? Intel has been repeatedly cleared of wrongdoing. They have enough lawyers to know what is legal and what isn't. I don't think its worth the risk to break the law.

    Oh and I don't know how much help the raid is going to be, unless Intel gives them access to email servers and document storage servers.
  • Here's hoping there's some "Intel"ligence inside their legal counsel.

    Because the EU likes to go for the jugular.
  • The summary shows anti-trust regulation for what it is : people with guns raiding private property. Did we see Intel raiding AMD offices with guns ? No. Did we see Intel raiding their customers with guns ? Hell, no!
    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      The summary shows anti-trust regulation for what it is : people with guns raiding private property.
      Did we see Intel raiding AMD offices with guns ? No.
      Did we see Intel raiding their customers with guns ? Hell, no!
      Why would Intel need guns when they have the patented Intel Lawyer Ninjas?

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...