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Intel faces big anti-trust fine in Europe

  Patent Law  -   POSTED: 2009/05/11 15:19

The European Commission is expected to make one of the most significant antitrust decisions in its history on Wednesday when it punishes computer chip-maker Intel for stifling competition from smaller rivals.


The official line is that the case is still ongoing, but one person close to the competition department said on condition of anonymity on Friday that the 27 commissioners will conclude the case, which has been under investigation since 2000, at their next weekly meeting on Wednesday. Intel is the latest giant from the IT industry to be slapped down by Europe's top competition regulator. Like Microsoft five years ago and IBM in the 1980s, Intel claims it is simply doing what any company would, only better. While IBM settled with the regulator, agreeing to change the way it competed in the market for mainframe computers, Microsoft and Intel have stuck to their guns. Consequently Microsoft was fined [euro]497 million (US$663.4 million) for abusing its dominant position in the software market, plus an additional [euro]1.2 billion for failing to respect the antitrust ruling.

Sun Microsystems shareholders filed three separate lawsuits last month in an effort to halt the company's pending sale to Oracle, according to a filing Sun made with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Friday. The suits, filed in Santa Clara County, California, superior court, name Sun, some of its officials and Oracle as defendants. All three actions are aimed at blocking the US$7.4 billion sale, alleging the price tag is "unfair and inadequate." The defendants have yet to file answers to the complaints, according to Sun. More information about the lawsuits wasn't immediately available.


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