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German officials deny probe into Intel, Metro collusion claim

We have no evidence to justify an investigation, says Cartel Office

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Germany's Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has rejected claims that it is investigating allegations Intel and local retail giant Metro agreed that the retailer's Media Markt and Saturn chains would not sell PCs based on AMD processors.

The denial follows a report in the German edition of the Financial Times at the weekend claiming that the FCO has received a letter allegedly written by a Metro staffer to an unnamed supplier explaining that the retailer would no longer be ordering PCs from the vendor because its systems now use AMD chips.

According to the FT report, the letter states that Metro's retail chains have an agreement with Intel not to offer AMD-based kit. The paper claimed Metro received financial rewards from Intel as a result, though it's not clear whether that allegation was made in the letter or by other sources.

But yesterday, the FCO said it is not only not investigating Intel and Metro but also that it has no documents in its possession of the kind described by the FT.

Intel is currently under investigation by European Commission anti-trust officials who are examining claims made by AMD that the chip giant abused its dominance of the x86 processor market by making it harder for its smaller rival to do business. Intel denies the claims, which are also the subject of legal action in Japan and the US. ®

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