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Tuesday, July 12, 2005
EU Officials Raid Intel, Others

The European Commission and other authorities raided Intel Corp., computer makers and distributors on Tuesday as part of an investigation into possible antitrust violations, a spokesman for the European Union executive said.

"DG Competition officials, accompanied by officials from national competition authorities are conducting inspections of several premises of Intel Corp. in Europe as well as a number of IT firms manufacturing or selling computers," European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said.

"The investigations are being carried out within the framework of an ongoing competition case," he added.

A spokeswoman for Intel's European operations had no immediate comment.

In March, the Commission said it was investigating Intel in cooperation with Japanese authorities, who have warned Intel about unfair business practices that it said were stifling competition in the Japanese chip market.

Last month, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of the United States said it had filed two suits against Intel in Japan, seeking $55 million in damages from the world's largest chip maker for alleged violations of the country's antitrust laws.

The suits, filed at two courts in Tokyo, are the latest shot in a two-decade battle between Intel and AMD.

AMD has also filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, saying Intel coerced 38 companies, including Dell Inc. and Sony Corp. , as it took control of 90 percent of the revenue generated by microprocessor sales.

In March, Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) found that Intel had violated antitrust laws by offering rebates to five PC makers that agreed either not to buy or to limit their purchases of chips made by AMD or other rivals.

The five computer makers are Hitachi Ltd. , Sony, NEC Corp. , Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. .

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