PC World caught in Intel War

PC World caught in Intel War

DSG's Hemel Hempstead offices raided following allegations of bribery

DSG International has been caught in the crossfire between Intel and the European Commission.

The offices of the retail group behind Currys and PC World were raided yesterday morning as part of an investigation by the European Commission into alleged anti-competitive measures used by Intel.

It follows allegations stretching back to 2005 when Intel’s rival AMD accused it of threatening customers and paying distributors and retailers, including Dixons in the UK, to delay the launch of products that contained its chips. Intel was also accused of granting its customers big rebates if they bought its products.

Another accusation levellled at Intel by AMD was that it lowered its microprocessor prices to below the market rate.

The Commission conducted raids of several Intel offices in Europe in 2005 over the allegations. Today’s raids follow a 48-page paper to the US courts. In these AMD claimed that DSG had, in exchange for payments from Intel, agreed to keep AMD’s share of its business below 10 per cent.

DSG confirmed that its offices were being inspected by the European Commission. A representative for the company said: "I can confirm that officials from the EU Commission are conducting an inspection at our Retail Support Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

“We understand similar inspections have taken place at other companies' premises. This inspection relates to the investigation between Intel and AMD. We are fully cooperating."