Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to help European consumers

Europe has an interesting way to deal with competition. Its own industries are pretty sclerotic due to an excess of government oversight, so they don't do very well in the marketplace. Intel Corporation of Santa Clara, California, builds and sells 77 percent of the chips that run our computers. The EU therefore has fined Intel $1.5 billion for (wait for it!) underselling its sole competitor, Advanced Micro Devices. In a statement so bizarre that ir could only have come from a high government bureaucrat, Europe's Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes argued that by driving down the price of chips, and presumably the price of the computers that contain them, 'Intel has harmed millions of European consumers.' Um, sure. AMD's stock is up today. Given that it's based in Sunnyvale, California, that will be comfort to millions of distressed European consumers. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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