Intel have been fined a record $1.45 billion by the European Union for using unfair sales tactics in the computer chip market.
The fine is a huge victory for Intel’s number one rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) who have sued Intel and urged regulators to review Intel’s pracices globally for a number of years.
“Today’s ruling is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market. AMD has consistently been a technology innovation leader and we are looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and chief executive officer.
EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by “deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market.”
“Intel did not compete fairly, frustrating innovation and reducing consumer welfare in the process,” she said.
The commission told Intel to immediately stop some sales practices in Europe, though it wouldn’t say what those were. Intel said it was “mystified” about what it was supposed to change but would comply while it appeals the fine.
Unlike other parts of the PC industry that have lots of competitors, microprocessors come from only two sources. Intel has about 80 percent of the market, and AMD has the rest, therefore one’s loss is the other’s gain.
Microsoft were previous holders of the worlds largest fine, with $1.3 billion, served cold by the EU last year.