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German anti-trust officials received complaint against Intel

But organisation won't say who made it

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Intel may end up under investigation by German anti-cartel officials after all. The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) last week received a formal complaint regarding the chip giant's alleged business practices. However, no probe has yet begun, it seems.

What a difference a week makes. Just over seven days ago, the FCO denied a newspaper report it was examining the relationship between Intel and German retail company Metro Group, owner of the Media Markt and Saturn store chains. The Financial Times claimed the FCO has in its possession a letter from a Saturn employee that implied Intel gave the retailer financial incentives not to stock AMD-based PCs.

Intel has always maintained that its business practices around the world are legitimate and above board.

The FCO didn't say who filed the complaint, only that it was made by an Intel competitor. Nor would the organisation reveal what the complaint alleges. However, it's hard not to assume that the grumble relates to the Metro claims.

AMD isn't saying whether it was behind the complaint or not, but not only is it the most obvious protagonist but also it has admitted to IDG to having spoken with the FCO as part of its broader drive against what it claims are anti-competitive action taken by its arch-rival. Certainly, the allegations surrounding Intel's relationship with Metro's subsidiaries is not so very different from claims made by AMD regarding its rival's dealings with other companies, retailers and computer vendors included. ®

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