EU Airs Out Intel's Dirty Laundry
The European Union has laid bare the dirty details of its evidence against Intel, publishing emails and notes from Intel executives that show the company was actively trying to smother the competition.
Intel has long contested the $1.45 billion fine from the European Union's antitrust division and yesterday, the EU responded to the appeal Intel filed in July by making a "non-confidential version" of its ruling final.
So what do we know now that we didn't know before? When the EU announced its ruling before the summer, it said that Intel was guilty of anti-competitive practices but now, we're finding out just what Intel was up to and good gracious if it doesn't paint Intel in a decidedly unflattering light.
The EU release includes details of rebates with manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and HP. Check out the deets of some of the deals below.
Rebates paid to Dell from December 2002 to December 2005 were conditioned on Dell purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs. For example, in an internal Dell presentation of February 2003, Dell noted that should it switch any part of its CPU supplies from Intel to its competitor AMD, Intel retaliation "could be severe and prolonged with impact to all LOBs [Lines of Business]."
The deal with HP was a little different. HP was awarded rebates provided the company adhered to several unwritten requirements. First and foremost, HP was to purchase at least 95 percent of its business desktop system from Intel. Second, although HP could purchase the remaining 5 percent from AMD, this was subject to further restrictive conditions. These included only selling AMD-based business desktops to small and medium enterprises, only via direct distribution channels (rather than distributors), and on HP postponing the launch of its first AMD-based business desktop in Europe by six months.
An internal email from HP and dates September 2004 reads, "You can NOT use the commercial AMD line in the channel in any country, it must be done direct. If you do and we get caught (and we will) the Intel moneys (each month) is gone (they would terminate the deal). The risk is too high."
Similar restrictions were places on deals with Acer and Lenovo with the former postponing the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004.
Check out the full release from the European Union by clicking here.