Intel Fined $1.45 Billion by European Commission
Costa Rica’s leading investor, Intel Corp., was slapped with a $1.45 billion fine after the European Commission accused the semiconductor giant of engaging in illegal anti-competitive practices.
Though the controversy is being played out on European battlefields, some people are concerned about its effects on this small Central American country.
Roughly 36.7 percent of Costa Rica’s exports come from Intel’s 126-acre campus in Heredia, according to a 2006 report by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. After Intel established operations here in the late 1990s, Costa Rica saw 60 percent growth in gross national product (GDP). This growth was almost entirely tied to Intel, which employes approximately 3,000 Costa Ricans.
“Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years,” alleged European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, in a statement. “Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU’s anti-trust rules cannot be tolerated.”
Intel’s president and CEO Paul Otellini objected to the fine on the grounds that such practices are necessary in an industry dominated by only two companies.
“We do not believe our practices violated European law,” Otellini said in a statement. “The natural result of a competitive market with only two major suppliers is that when one company wins sales, the other does not.”
Otellini, who claimed his company’s actions are not harming consumers, said his company plans to appeal the decision.
You may be interested
Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican ClausuraAFP and The Tico Times - April 21, 2019
Liga Deportiva Alajuelense tied 2-2 against the reigning champion, Club Sport Herediano, and was eliminated from the semifinals of the…
Costa Rica bets on ending fossil fuel use by 2050Marco Sibaja / AFP - April 21, 2019
Eric Orlich and his wife Gioconda Rojas own two electric vehicles, which they charge at home in the garage thanks…
Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019
Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…