LONDON — Antitrust investigators have recommended that European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes formally charge Intel Corp. with illegally thwarting competition in the computer chip market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Kroes must either act against the chip maker or draw a line under the six-year-old case, the report said, adding she has asked for more information before making a decision.
The investigations have been on-going since late 2000. Intel has been denying the charges and continues to do so.
Though the probe started in 2000, the case lay dormant until AMD pressured the EU commission in JUne 2005 to make a move. AMD alleged that Intel had maintained a 90 percent market share of microprocessors for personal computers through threats and kickbacks such as unfair rebates.
Intel has also been investigated about similar allegations in the U.S , South Korea and Japan, and these cases are also still to be resolved. Last October, EU investigators convened an internal panel of legal and economic experts to explore possible weaknesses in their case. However, according to the report, they now feel a charge of anti-competitive behaviour could succeed.