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EU to Intel: "Rebate This, You Monopolist!"

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By Kevin Fayle on May 13, 2009 4:26 PM

It looks like the antitrust scene is starting to heat up again. 

First, Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DoJ's Antitrust Division, announced that the DoJ under President Obama would pursue antitrust charges more vigorously than under the Bush administration. 
Not to be outdone, the EU has fined Intel a record €1.06 billion ($1.44 billion) for antitrust violations related to the company's abuse of its position of dominance in the microprocessor market.  The EU found that Intel had illegally offered rebates to PC makers who agreed to use Intel chips almost exclusively in their products, to the detriment of rival chip maker, AMD.

The EU also claimed that Intel paid the manufacturers to delay products built with AMD processors. 

As if that wasn't enough to prove that antitrust is hot again, Microsoft is trying to convince the EU (probably correctly) that forcing it to carry browsers besides Internet Explorer in its distributions of Windows would only increase Google's dominance of the search market.

Google, for its part, is going on a full public relations blitz to convince the world that it's no antitrust threat.

Based on Varney's comments, she isn't buying it.

Looks like in-house antitrust experts should enjoy some job security in the months and years to come.

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