We are all reading and analyzing the European Commission’s statements around consumer protection in the IT industry. At first blush, I believe the EC decision will signal a sweeping change in the IT industry. The ruling has the very real potential to transform the industry from being artificially organized around one player who owns less than a third of the bill-of-materials for an end product but makes nearly all the profit, into one that thinks consumers first. And we also see the very real potential for a step change in the long-term pace of innovation as a by-product.
While Intel may want you to believe this is about “discounting”, it really isn’t at all. The ruling – more than eight years in the making – is about how Intel deliberately used its monopoly profits to control a critically important industry. How it has decided what consumers are allowed to buy, and where they are allowed to buy it. How Intel severely punishes PC manufacturers, suppliers and retailers who do not play by its rules. That is what Europe is putting a stop to. We applaud them for doing so, and if you buy computers and value innovation, so should you..