12 July 2005 European Commission investigators have raided chip manufacturer Intel’s offices as part of its ongoing probe of the processor giant’s business practices.
The raids are part of an investigation into Intel’s business operations that spans the globe. EC officials raided Intel’s office in Swindon and Munich as well as targeting several Intel distributors.
The EC recently re-opened its investigation into allegations that Intel had abused its position to stifle competition. The initial investigation in 2001 was suspended because of a lack of evidence.
However, in March, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission found that Intel had breach competition laws by offering rebates to five PC manufacturers en exchange for agreement not to buy, or to limit, their purchase of chips made by rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Meanwhile, AMD has filed a law suit in a Delaware court accusing Intel of bullying 38 computer manufacturers, including Sony and Dell, into buying its processors.
An EC statement said: “Investigations are being carried out in a framework of an ongoing competition case.”
Intel dominates the supply of processors to PCs, with around 90% of the worldwide market.
It has been at loggerheads with AMD for over a decade, and the latest court cases are just the latest salvo in this long-running feud.
Intel is co-operating with the competition regulators investigating the allegations.