Intel is in the news again, this time for fighting the European Commission’s record-shattering $1.4 billion fine against the company. In its appeal, Intel accuses the Commission of having failed to prove that Intel’s allegedly anticompetitive tactics actually harmed consumers in any way.
Recall that it wasn’t a consumer group that brought this case against Intel. Rather, this case was pushed by its rivals. In fact, both Intel and its closest competitor, AMD, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying in the second quarter of 2009 alone, of which much was devoted to antitrust-related issues. As more antitrust allegations mount against Intel, rest assured that these amounts will increase considerably. Instead of investing in things that will actually provide more value to consumers, like price cuts or research and development, chipmakers will have to divert that money towards playing the Washington game.