As was already revealed by eWeek earlier this week, the EU has imposed a massive fine on Intel for abusing its monopoly position. The fine is larger than the one given to Microsoft: 1.06 billion EUR, or 1.44 billion USD, opposed to the 899 million EUR fine imposed upon Microsoft.
Dutch EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was clear in her assessment. “Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years,” she said, “Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU’s antitrust rules cannot be tolerated.” In addition to the fine, the EU also ordered Intel to cease its illegal activities, and that it will be monitored thoroughly for compliance.
We already detailed why Intel is being fined: it paid money to PC makers and retailers to not use AMD chips. Since Intel has an 80% share of the personal computer microprocessor market, it is considered a monopoly. Intel faces only one real competitor, and that’s AMD.
Intel could face even more antitrust cases, as the FTC upgraded a probe into Intel last year, and the Obama administration has stated it will take a more aggressive stance against monopoly abuse.
On a personal note – if there’s one Dutch women who will ever have a shot at becoming The Netherlands’ first female prime minister, it’s Neelie Kroes.