EU expands Intel probe

The European Commission (EC) has expanded its ongoing antitrust Intel probe into claims the company has been hampering competition with rival chipmaker, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

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EC spokesman Jonathan Todd confirmed Monday, it is investigating claims Intel pressured Europe’s largest computer retail chain not to sell computers containing AMD chips.

“The Commission is concerned that Intel has been putting pressure on Media Markt not to stock computers that include AMD chips as opposed to Intel chips,” said Todd.

Media Markt is a German chain of over 360 stores spread across 11 countries in the European Union. In July AMD complained to Germany’s antitrust office, the Bundeskartellampt, that it didn’t have access to this vital sales outlet.

The Commission decided to examine the claim because of the cross-border nature of the alleged antitrust abuse involving Media Markt and because, if true, Intel's links with the retailer would strengthen its ongoing antitrust case, which began in 2001.

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