Bloomberg reports Intel is fighting the 1.06 billion euro ($1.33 billion) fine levied by the EU in 2009 for using rebates to thwart rivals. The chip giant's lawyers claim the European Commission failed to provide the required proof to uphold its 2009 decision and that the judgment was based on an inconsistent, simplistic and error-ridden analysis.
The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulator, failed to provide the required proof to uphold its 2009 decision and ignored “potentially exculpatory” documents from a competitor and failed to record a meeting with a Dell Inc. executive, Intel lawyers said.
“Prosecutors cannot pick and choose what evidence to record and which to ignore and thereby prevent exculpatory evidence,” Nicholas Green, a lawyer for Intel, told the EU General Court in Luxembourg in its opening arguments of a hearing scheduled to last four days. “It represents a wider systemic failure by the commission” and “must lead to the decision being set aside.”
The EU probe found that Intel impeded competition by giving rebates to computer makers from 2002 until 2005 on the condition that they buy at least 95 percent of chips for personal computers from Intel. The company imposed “restrictive conditions” for the remaining 5 percent, supplied by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), which struggled to overcome Intel’s hold on the market for PC processors, the EU said.