EU fining Intel will hurt US firms, consumers

School of Law Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says the EU slapping Intel with a record $1.45 billion fine could hurt consumers and hamper U.S. companies trying to compete globally.

“The EC decision to impose the largest fine in its history on Intel, largely for its price cutting, sends a worrisome signal to dominant firms in the U.S.

“Antitrust law in the U.S. has largely abandoned the idea that consumers can be made better off by punishing firms that cut prices aggressively. Punishing large firms for cutting prices provides a strong incentive for those firms to avoid price competition, and this hurts consumers in the long run.

“Recognizing this, U.S. antitrust law has in effect provided a safe harbor from antitrust liability for large firms that cut prices when selling to U.S. consumers. The EC decision on Intel effectively destroys that safe harbor once the firms start selling their goods on the global market.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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