Intel Claims Flawed Evidence in $1.3 billion EU Antitrust Case
Intel is not content with a 1.06 billion Euro (about $1.34 billion) fine it was handed by EU antitrust regulators.
The fine was the result of an investigation based on allegations that Intel used unfair monopolistic powers against AMD. However, Intel is not rolling over and paying the fine just yet, stating that the EU's analysis is "defective" and relied on a "quality of evidence" that is "profoundly inadequate".
In May 2009, the EU slapped Intel with a record fine that was based on 4.15 percent of Intel's 2008 revenue. Even if the EU said that this was less than the "allowable maximum" of 10 percent, the fine was unprecedented and the EU did not miss an opportunity to provoke a challenging reaction from Intel. For example, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes preempted previous discussions about a likely appeal by stating: "I'd like to draw your attention to Intel's latest advert calling them sponsors of tomorrow, now they are sponsors of the European taxpayer."
As the appeal process begins, Intel has filed a 84-page document against the 542-page decision provided by the EU. According to Reuters, Intel claims that the commission does not have enough evidence to rule on any wrongdoing on the side of Intel "and relied too much on subjective comments by the company's customers." However, the EU maintained that Intel is guilty Intel gave out unfair rebates to retail chains and PC makers that put its rivals at a disadvantage.
"These kind of rebates can only be intended to tie customers and put competitors in an unfavorable position," the Commission's lawyer argued.
A ruling could be expected within a few months, but Intel has another option available should it fail with the current appeal process: It can take its fight to the the EU Court of Justice.