After last week's news that the European Commission (EC) has released a Statement of Objections concerning Intel's business practices, AMD has wasted little time in poking its oar in.

"Consumers know today that their welfare has been sacrificed in the illegal interest of preserving monopoly profits. Intel has circled the globe with a pattern of conduct, including direct payments, in order to enforce full and partial boycotts of AMD," said Thomas M. McCoy, AMD's head legal eagle.

"The EU action obviously suggests that Intel has, once again, been unable to justify its illegal conduct."

A so-called Statement of Objections "is a formal step in Commission antitrust investigations in which the Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them," according to the EU.

Intel hit back with its own statement. "We are confident that the microprocessor market segment is functioning normally and that Intel's conduct has been lawful, pro-competitive, and beneficial to consumers," said Intel's Bruce Sewell.

Original Equipment Manufacturers

"While we would certainly have preferred to avoid the cost and inconvenience of establishing that our competitive conduct in Europe has been lawful, the Commission's decision to issue a Statement of Objections means that at last Intel will have the opportunity to hear and respond to the allegations made by our primary competitor."

So what is Intel accused of doing? "First, Intel has provided substantial rebates to various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) conditional on them obtaining all or the great majority of their CPU requirements from Intel," says the statement from the EC.

"Secondly, in a number of instances, Intel made payments in order to induce an OEM to either delay or cancel the launch of a product line incorporating an AMD-based CPU."

"Thirdly, in the context of bids against AMD-based products for strategic customers in the server segment of the market, Intel has offered CPUs on average below cost."