Clare questions DSGi dawn raids

Clare questions DSGi dawn raids

Former Dixons boss speaks out as Intel-AMD anti-trust spat gathers pace

DSG international’s (DSGi) former boss has voiced reservations about the EU’s decision to conduct dawn raids on the retailer as part of its anti-trust investigation into Intel.

DSGi was one of three European retailers visited by European Commission officials on Tuesday. The Commission said it was concerned the companies involved “may have violated EC treaty rules on restrictive business practices and/or abuse of a dominant position”.

However, John Clare, who headed up DSGi until November, told the Financial Times it is unlikely that a retailer would have broken EU rules in their dealings with the chip maker.

“I find it very odd that they [the Commission] conducted dawn raids on a retailer,” he said.

Clare claimed Intel was “paranoid” about being perceived as abusing its dominant market position, and stressed Intel’s staff tightly followed rules on dealings with retailers.

The investigation is the latest development in the long-running spat between Intel and AMD, which has for years accused its larger competitor of engaging in unfair practices. AMD alleged in 2005 that DSGi - then Dixons - had taken payments from Intel in return for keeping AMD’s share of its sales below 10 per cent.

Europe’s largest electricals retailer, German goliath Media Markt, and French PPR were also raided on Tuesday as part of the investigation.