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.
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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.