EU Competition Policy

Intel is the latest company to incur the wrath of the EU Competition Commission. A fine of €1.06bn has been imposed by Commissioner Neelie Kroes on the US chipmaker for abusing its dominant position between 2002and 2007.

During that time Intel held a 70% share of the market for central processor units (cpu’s), the chips that computers need in order to function. The Commission found that Intel actively discouraged computer manufacturers,including Acer,Dell,and HP from using CPU’s produced by its main rivals AMD in their products. They did this by paying the manufacturers to restrict sales of AMD chipped products. The fine is the biggest ever imposed and has left Intel feeling hard done by.

This is the second time that Ms Kroes has left an IT giant reeling. In 2004 the Commission fined Microsoft a then record €497m for resticting the data needed to allow rival operating systems interface with its Windows system. As well as the fine,Microsoft were ordered to disclose the required information within 120 days. When it dragged its heels on providing this information it was again fined in 2006 (€280m) and in 2008(€899m).

TY Investment Competition

The TY classes have just completed the annual stock exchange fantasy league competition. Using the “Bull Bearings” web site much fun and serious competition was had by all. Students were given one week to familarise themselves with the skill of buying/selling on both the Dublin and London stock exchanges, before the serious competition commenced.

Each player was given a notional €100,000 to invest. Ian McAleer was the victor in TY C with an excellent profit of €42,032 made over the 5 weeks.

Chris Campbell was victorious in TY B with an outstanding return of €69,915- a fantastic profit.

TY A saw a titanic struggle take place, in particular between Pat Varley and Diarmuid Joyce. The lead swopped hands on a number of occasions. At 2.45pm today both had to fully sell their share portfolio in order to establish the winner. Diarmuid made an exceptional profit of €97,264 but still found himself narrowly eclipsed by the determined Varley who managed €97,844.

Alot of stockbroker and pension fund operators would be envious of those returns!

Well done to all.