Intel appeals over EC anti-trust fine


Intel appeals over EC anti-trust fine

David Manners

Intel has asked the European Court of First Instance for an order to annul or reduce the €1.1bn fine imposed by the EC for anti-trust offences.

Intel alleges that the EC infringed the law by:

  • Finding that Intel's discounts to customers "foreclosed competition" without establishing that they actually did have so and without analysing whether the rebates were implemented within the EU and had effects within the EU.
  • Failing to meet the required standard of proof in its analysis of the evidence. "The Commission fails to prove that Intel's rebate arrangements were conditional upon its customers purchasing all or almost all of their x86 CPU requirements from Intel."
  • Failing to prove that Intel engaged in a long-term strategy to foreclose the competitors. "Such a finding is not supported by the evidence," says the application.

Intel also says the EC infringed EU procedural rules which would entitle Intel to an oral hearing over parts of the case. Intel alleges that the EC failed to procure certain internal documents from the competitor for the case file when requested to do so.

The company claims that the EC failed to make a proper note of its meeting with a key witness from one of Intel's customers, "who was highly likely to have given exculpatory evidence".

Intel says the €1.1bn fine is "disproportionate", in that the EC failed to establish "any consumer harm or foreclosure of the competitors", and claims the EC failed to apply fining guidelines correctly and took "irrelevant or inappropriate considerations" into account in assessing the fine.

And Intel says that the EC's analysis of the "as efficient competitor" (AEC) test to determine whether Intel's rebates were capable of restricting competition is based on information that it could not know at the time it was granting discounts to its customers.

A version of this story originally appeared on Electronics Weekly.

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