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By | Kelly Fiveash 28th May 2008 12:45

EC denies 'provisional decision' on Intel anti-trust probe

Slams 'irresponsible' reporting

The anti-trust arm of the European Commission today denied that it had reached any provisional decision in its ongoing probe of Intel’s marketing and sales practices.

EC competition spokesman Jonathan Todd said: "There is no provisional or internal decision on this case. The investigation is very much active and ongoing," reports Reuters.

He slammed The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, which cited Brussels sources, for providing misleading information and described the report as "irresponsible journalism".

The newspaper had said that the European Union anti-trust authority planned to take action against Intel’s marketing and sales practices by this summer. It reckoned that decision had already been made by EU commissioner Neelie Kroes because the EC had gathered enough evidence against the world’s biggest chip maker following a lawsuit by rival AMD.

The paper also claimed that the EU would prevent Intel from marketing its microprocessors to PC vendors at a marked down price, and that the authority would forbid the company from subsidising retailer's advertising costs.

The EU has been sniffing around Intel's business practices in Europe for six years, but the investigation got a second wind in 2005 when AMD formally accused its arch-rival of using illegal tactics to dominate the PC and server markets.

In July last year the EU filed formal anti-trust charges against Intel.

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told Reuters yesterday: "We continue to work with the Commission to attempt to convince them that our business practices are well within the law." ®

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