There are many tried and true methods for beating your competition in the free-market. Product innovation seems to work as does a proprietary ecosystem of peripherals, media, and services that keep customers locked-in for life. Or you can take Intel's approach: pay computer makers and retailers "to postpone or cancel" products containing CPUs from AMD, Intel's chief rival. That's the allegation it faces in the EU which, according to Reuters, has completed its antitrust investigation
and is preparing to announce its decision on Wednesday. According to Reuters' sources, the European Commission will fine Intel for the violations discovered over the last eight years and order changes to Intel's business practices. It remains to be seen if the related fine exceeds the $655 million levied against Microsoft in 2004. But given the EU's distaste for anti-competitive practices, we're not expecting Intel to get off easy -- self-proclaimed "rock star
" status or not.