(Reuters) - The European Commission imposed a record 1.06 billion euro ($1.45 billion) fine on chipmaker Intel Corp on Wednesday and ordered it to halt illegal rebates and other practices intended to squeeze out rival AMD.
Here are the main details of the 542-page decision:
* Intel gave wholly or partially hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on condition that they bought all, or almost all, their x86 CPUs processors from Intel.
* It also made direct payments to a major retailer on condition it stocked only computers with its x86 CPUs. This effectively prevented customers - and ultimately consumers - from choosing alternative products.
* Intel paid computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing competitors’ x86 CPUs and to limit the sales channels available to these products.
* Computer manufacturers affected includes Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC. The retailer concerned is Media Saturn Holding, owner of the MediaMarkt chain.
CONDITIONAL REBATES AND PAYMENTS
The Commission said Intel awarded major computer manufacturers rebates if they bought all or almost all of their supplies, at least in certain defined segments, from Intel:
* Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer A from December 2002 to December 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs.
* Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer B from November 2002 to May 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing no less than 95 percent of its CPU needs for its business desktop computers from Intel (the remaining 5 percent that computer manufacturer B could purchase from rival chip maker AMD was then subject to further restrictive conditions).
* Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer C from October 2002 to November 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing no less than 80 percent of its CPU needs for its desktop and notebook computers from Intel.
* Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer D in 2007 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing its CPU needs for its notebook computers exclusively from Intel.
PAYMENTS TO PREVENT SALES OF SPECIFIC RIVAL PRODUCTS
The Commission said it found the following specific cases:
* For the 5 percent of computer manufacturer B’s business that was not subject to the conditional rebate, Intel made further payments to computer manufacturer B provided that this manufacturer:
- sold AMD-based business desktops only to small and medium enterprises.
- sold AMD-based business desktops only via direct distribution channels (as opposed to through distributors)
- postponed the launch of its first AMD-based business desktop in Europe by 6 months.
* Intel made payments to computer manufacturer E provided that this manufacturer postponed the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004.
* Before the conditional rebate to computer manufacturer D, Intel made payments to this manufacturer provided that it postponed the launch of AMD-based notebooks from September 2006 to the end of 2006.
To see the Commission's full decision click here here
To see a graphic, clickhere)
Compiled by Bate Felix
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