Intel: The EU's Latest Antitrust Target

Regulators from the European Union and four European countries carried out a series of coordinated dawn raids starting July 12 on the European offices of chipmaker Intel Corp. and a half-dozen PC makers and distributors. Investigators are probing claims that Intel has abused its monopoly in microprocessors to coerce customers into exclusive contracts that shut out rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD ). Most such raids lead eventually to formal cases by the EU, but any antitrust action against Intel likely won't come until the fall at the earliest. In cases against Michelin and British Airways PLC (BA ), regulators have attached limits to rebates and other incentive programs by dominant suppliers. Intel could have a tougher fight in the EU than it might face at home in the U.S. because EU antitrust law considers harm to both competitors and consumers.

Edited by Michael S. Serrill

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