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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Intel Defends Itself in EU Antitrust Action

Intel is confident that its is being run legally, the company's chairman said on Tuesday, commenting on the antitrust investigation by the European Commission.

EU officials raided U.S. computer chipmaker Intel last July as part of a years-long probe into whether the firm was abusing its dominant position. It is being investigated in South Korea and has been warned by Japan against stifling competition in the Japanese chip market.

Speaking at a business forum, Craig Barrett, Intel's Chairman and former Chief Executive, backed his company.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation. We don't think we've done anything wrong. We are quite confident that our business practices are quite legal," he told reporters, declining to comment further.

The Commission said it was still working on the case and refused to reveal more details.

The European Union's top antitrust body had begun its probe about five years ago, but the case lay still until Intel's smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) pressured the Commission to make a move.

In South Korea, authorities said in February they had not yet decided whether the company broke regulations.

Japan warned Intel last year that it had tried to block competition by offering unfair rebates to personal computer makers, but did not fine the company.

When contacted by CDRinfo, AMD immediately responded that the raid conducted by the EU were undertaken because there is evidence that Intel's business practices are illegal.

"Intel's conduct, harming customers, competitors and consumers around the world through market-exclusion tactics, falls within current and draft Article 82 guidelines. Again, the EC initiated dawn raids at Intel offices, as well as the offices of major European OEMs - last year as part of its ongoing investigation; the next logical step would be to file a statement of objections, " says AMD Global Communication consultant Michael Silverman.

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