Leading component manufacturer Intel has been fined $1.45bn by the European Commission as punishment for ‘illegal rebates and practices’ used to prevent AMD from rivalling its position in the market.
Intel paid PC manufacturers to postpone or cancel plans to launch AMD-equipped hardware. The fine is the biggest ever imposed on an individual company, dwarfing the €497m fine suffered by Microsoft in 2004.
The firm has been ordered to cease the illegal practices immediately, though it will be permitted to carry on offering legal rebates.
“Given that Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for over five years, the size of the fine should come as no surprise,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes stated, according to Reuters.
Intel has already stated its intention to appeal the decision, with CEO Paul Otellini claiming: “Intel takes exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor market.”
Another lawsuit from AMD will arrive at US courts next year.