The European Commission is expected to fine computer chip maker Intel this week for breaking European rules against monopolies.
Brussels-based lawyers believe the fine is likely to be one of the highest anti-monopoly fines in Europe so far, according to
European rules allow for a fine of up to 10% of revenue, which means the fine could be as high as $3.8bn based on Intel's revenue for 2008.
Since 2000, the EC has issued combined fines of over $1bn against Microsoft for anti-competitive practises.
The charges against Intel stem from complaints made in 2000 by competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which accused Intel of anti-competitive practices.
European investigators alleged that Intel had paid computer makers rebates to limit their use of AMD chips and selling chips at below cost to win deals.
Intel also allegedly paid a major retailer not to stock computers containing AMD chips.
The EC is expected to approve punitive action against Intel at a meeting of commissioners on Wednesday.
Intel has refused to comment, saying news of the pending decision amounts to rumours and speculation.