Advanced Mico Devices Inc is currently in the process of filing a formal antitrust complaint against larger rival Intel Corp with Germany’s federal competition authority office, Computer Business Review has learned.
The complaint alleges that Intel’s business practices in the country may run afoul of Germany’s competition laws.
AMD spokesperson Michael Silverman confirmed that the company was filing the complaint against Intel with the German federal cartel office, following reports that Intel was facing a complaint from an unidentified rival.
To my knowledge there aren’t multiple complaints, but I couldn’t say for sure, Silverman said.
The complaint was filed not long after the Financial Times of Germany reported that Media Saturn Holding GmbH, which owns the Media Markt retail electronics chain, inked an agreement to exclusively sell Intel-based products in return for payment from the chipmaker. Media Markt has about 400 stores in 12 European countries.
AMD had previously filed antitrust complaints against Intel in the US, Europe and Asia that also alleged anticompetitive sales and business practices, similar to what the FT described. Media Markt was among the companies AMD identified as being a victim of Intel’s alleged illegal tactics.
An Intel spokesperson in Germany told wire reporters that he had not seen the complaint in Germany, but said Intel believes it has maintained lawful business conduct.
AMD’s filed its US antitrust suit against Intel in June 2005. Among its claims, AMD alleges No. 1 chipmaker Intel had threatened customers with retaliatory action if they bought chips from underdog AMD.
AMD has served subpoenas to at least 36 major US tech companies seeking documentation to support its antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the US, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lenovo, Gateway, Sun Microsystems and units of Fujitsu and NEC.
In February, South Korean regulators questioned Intel employees during surprise visits to the chipmaker’s Seoul offices, as part of the ongoing investigation into the chipmaker’s local sales and marketing practices.
And a year ago, the European Commission raided some Intel offices across Europe, looking for evidence of antitrust violations. The EC also conducted inspections at the premises of PC manufacturers that AMD alleges have been offered unfair inducements to buy all their microprocessors from Intel.
Intel has emphatically responded that its customer discounts were not illegal but rather in keeping with the essence of competition.