Intel facing EU antitrust charges

Formal antitrust charges against computer chip maker Intel in Europe are coming closer, according to reports.

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Formal antitrust charges against computer chip maker Intel in Europe are coming closer, after officials working on the case advised European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes to push ahead with legal action, according to reports.

The European Commission (EC) spokesman for competition, Jonathan Todd, declined to comment on the reports, which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on Reuters. "We have an ongoing case against Intel. I can't say any more than that," he said.

The reports said a decision to send Intel a so-called ‘statement of objections’ could be taken at any time now, although Kroes is understood to be proceeding cautiously.

Intel's spokesman in Brussels, Chuck Mulloy, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The Commission has been examining Intel's behaviour in the European chip market for more than six years. Rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) complained to the European regulator in 2000 that Intel, with around 80% market share, was pressuring computer manufacturers to remain loyal to its products by offering them rebates.

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