EU to Intel: "Rebate This, You Monopolist!"
It looks like the antitrust scene is starting to heat up again.
First, Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of
the DoJ's Antitrust Division, announced that the DoJ under President Obama would pursue antitrust charges more vigorously than under the Bush administration.
Not to be outdone, the EU has fined
Intel a record €1.06 billion ($1.44
billion) for antitrust violations related to the company's abuse of its position
of dominance in the microprocessor market. The EU found that Intel had
illegally offered rebates to PC makers who agreed to use Intel chips
almost exclusively in their products, to the detriment of rival chip
The EU also claimed that Intel paid the
manufacturers to delay products built with AMD processors.
As if that wasn't enough to prove that
antitrust is hot again, Microsoft is trying to convince the EU
(probably correctly) that forcing it to carry browsers besides Internet
Explorer in its distributions of Windows would only increase Google's dominance
of the search market.
Google, for its part, is going on a full public relations blitz
to convince the world that it's no antitrust threat.
Based on Varney's comments, she isn't buying it.
Looks like in-house antitrust experts should enjoy some job security in the months and years to come.