Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on June 5, 2008
Intel suffered a setback in South Korea where antitrust regulators ruled on June 5 that the world’s largest chipmaker abused its dominance to hamper competition. The Korea Fair Trade Commission slapped a fine of some $25 million against Intel, accusing it of paying rebates to Korean PC makers in return for not using products of rival Advanced Micro Devices.
The ruling came as Intel awaits a verdict by the European Union, which is now carrying out a similar probe. Advanced Micro Devices has also sued Intel in the U.S. where the state of New York began a formal investigation into Intel in January for alleged anti-competitive practices. In Japan, Intel was forced in 2005 to remove clauses restricting Japanese computer makers from using rival chips.
Few industry officials, however, believe Intel’s dominance in the central processing unit market in Korea would be affected by the ruling. The Korean regulators said $37.5 million in rebates paid by Intel to Samsung Electronics and Trigem Computer between 2002-2005 helped give Intel an average market share of 91.3% between 2001 and 2005 in Korea, higher than a global share of 79.6%. Yet Trigem said the money it received from Intel was used to jointly market products