Neelie Kroes’ Intel fine is vaporware

An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal has accused the antitrust European Commission of acting as judge, jury and executioner by imposing a $1.45 billion fine on Intel.

In an excoriating piece by WSJ journo Holman W. Jenkins, the fine is vaporware because it will only be collected if a court agrees. He says that Kroes’ agency has not performed any due process and claims the news fanfare is not worth the coverage.

AMD isn’t, he continues, a victim of Intel volume discounts, rebates and loyalty programs. He says that Intel is the industry’s biggest supplier of capital and production and needs volumes to pay for future designs and production of better chips. AMD benefits from that because sales of PCs then rise.

Customers like semiconductor choice, and that was proven by sales of AMD Opterons. But those customers were disappointed when AMD was late with its Barcelona chip.

In the end, it is the antitrust bodies which behave like leeches and signs from the Obama administration suggest they’ll be investigating a number of chip companies more vigorously.

The WSJ editorial is here (subscription needed).