October 13, 2004 – The European Union has sent formal notices to four European countries seeking information about purchases reportedly favoring chips made by Intel, according to several news reports.
Universities, contractors, and government entities in France, Finland, Sweden, and The Netherlands allegedly required Intel or “equivalent” processors, by name or by specifications that limited the choice to Intel — a violation of Europan law on public procurement. “You can specify the performance you are looking for in a particular computer problem, but not a specification that can only be met by one manufacturer,” acording to EU spokesperson Jonathan Todd, quoted by the Associated Press.
The four countries have two months to respond to the notices, which address procurement practices at about a dozen local authorities and public bodies in France, including the French military; three Finnish universities; the municipality of Amsterdam; and several Swedish municipalities, according to Reuters.
EU regulators reopened their investigation in June after AMD maintained its complaints from 2002 about Intel’s business practices in Europe, and have sent similar letters to Italy and Germany.