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The Intel fine: European antitrust policy is running wild!

Paris, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 – Incapable of comprehending innovation, risk-
taking and real market competition, the European Commission has just inflicted a
record fine of 1.06 billion euros on Intel – far beyond the 497-million-euro fine
imposed on Microsoft in 2004.

According to the Institut économique Molinari (IEM), “the fact that a large penalty has
been levied against the major firm in microprocessors, one of the most dynamic and
innovative sectors in the economy should alert us that it is time to reassess our
antitrust policy.”

Intel is accused in particular of commercial practices that consist of providing
discounts and rebates to its clients. These are common practices that enable
companies to compete with their rivals and, subsequently, to produce greater
consumer satisfaction.

“Through its ruling, which runs counter to the market’s verdict, the European
Commission has favoured one competitor at the expense of another,” the IEM noted.
“The Commission is blocking competition instead of stimulating it, and this will tend to
penalise consumers with higher prices and stunted innovation in the future.”

It will unquestionably add to the impact of the current economic crisis, the IEM added.

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The Institut économique Molinari specialises in the examination of European antitrust
policy. It has produced a number of analyses on this topic, including one dealing
specifically with the Intel case (published in English in The Wall Street Journal).

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For more information:

Valentin Petkantchin

GSM: +33 6 82 69 17 39

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