AMD fires another antitrust salvo at Intel

Battle between two chipmakers over alleged anticompetitive conduct with PC makers and sellers moves to Germany.

Graeme Wearden Special to CNET News.com
Advanced Micro Devices is stepping up the pressure on Intel over alleged anticompetitive practices by filing another complaint, this time with German authorities.

The latest complaint was filed last week with Germany's Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt. In it, AMD claims that Intel made deals with German retailers that violate the country's competition laws.

The complaint was prompted by a report in the German edition of the Financial Times claiming that the Media Markt retail electronics chain had agreed to only sell computers that used Intel's processors in return for a payment from the chipmaker.

"AMD had already received similar information, so we decided to file a formal complaint with the Federal Cartel Office," AMD spokeswoman Hollis Krym explained.

A representative for the German Federal Cartel Office confirmed that a complaint had been received from "a competitor of Intel." It is now liaising with the European Commission, which is conducting its own investigation into Intel.

"We're checking with colleagues in Brussels to see whether they will take this complaint on as well," the Federal Cartel Office representative explained.

In June 2005, AMD filed a lawsuit against Intel, claiming that it had forced major customers to accept exclusive deals, and had withheld rebates and marketing subsidies from customers who bought more AMD processors than Intel had allowed.

The next month, European Commission officials raided Intel's offices in Swindon, England, as well as the offices of several PC retailers, including Dell.

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.