Officials from the European Competition Commission, accompanied by local officials, raided Intel offices in Munich and those of Dixons Store Group International in the UK today as part of an investigation into alleged illegal collusion - that Intel and retailers worked together to fix prices.
A spokesman for DSGI told the Reg: "I can confirm that officials from the EU Commission are currently conducting an inspection at our Retail Support Centre in Hemel Hempstead. This inspection relates to the ongoing investigation between Intel and AMD. We are fully cooperating with the inspection."
German retailer Metro AG was also raided by the Commission this morning.
Of course, the raids themselves are not evidence of guilt.
The Commission statement said: "Surprise inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected infringements of EC competition law. The fact that the European Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour."
Intel was not named by the Commission but a spokesman in the US confirmed it was the target of the raids. Intel has always insisted its conduct has been lawful.
Intel has been raided by competition investigators before, in 2005, and in South Korea in 2006.
The company has been under investigation since 2001 in Europe and more seriously since 2003 following complaints from AMD. In July 2007, the EC filed formal charges against the chip giant.
A spokeswoman for the Competition Commission would not comment on whether the raids were part of an ongoing investigation or the result of new complaint. ®