It’s not what anyone expected, but perhaps that’s the whole point. According to the BBC, yesterday the Munich, Germany offices of chip maker Intel wereraided by EU competition regulators. Intel itself confirmed the raid and said it was co-operating with investigators. The EU would only claim it had carried out an “unannouncedinspection” of an unnamed chipmaker. So what’s the problem? It all boils down to claims that Intel is abusing its market position and not only selling chips below cost, but alsomaking cash payments to customers. It all began with a complaint from rival AMD, and an initial investigation last year by the European Commission found that Intel had indeed indulged inanti-competitive practices. "I can confirm that there has been a raid on our offices in Munich. As is our normal practice, we are co-operating with authorities," said Chuck Mulloy,an Intel spokesman. Companies that supply Intel have also had their places of business raided. The next step for Intel is a closed-door hearing next month in Brussels. If it’sfound that they did restrict competition, Intel could be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover.
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