Intel to the EU: let's rumble, baby

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You may recall that back in July the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, accused Intel exercising monopoly power to crush AMD in Europe’s chip market. At the time Intel was given 10 weeks for a formal response, but issued an immediate release on its web site titled “Intel States Its Actions in Europe Benefit Consumers.” Which is just awesomely ballsy.

Anywho, the DailyTech brings us up to speed on the two extensions the EU gave Intel, resulting in a confidential written reply from Intel being filed with the EU this past Monday.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the response included an invitation for the Commission to hold hearings to probe the depths of Intel’s innocence.

Intel, the world’s biggest computer chip maker, has asked European Union regulators for a hearing as part of its response to claims that it illegally used rebates to wrest away sales from Advanced Micro Devices.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, received the company’s written reply Monday, an Intel spokesman, Chuck Mulloy, said.

Not everyone is as optimistic as Intel on their chances for beating the rap. Again, the IHT

“Intel is going to have a really significant challenge in the proceedings before the EU,” said David Balto, an antitrust lawyer based in Washington and a former U.S. Federal Trade Commission policy director. “The EU is much more sensitive to the long-term competition effects by dominant firms and much less ready to accept simple snapshots of a company’s conduct.”

What’s at stake? As the DailyTech observes, its all about the Benjamins

As per EU regulations Intel may be fined up to 10 percent of its annual sales for antitrust violations. Microsoft initially tried to argue against the EU when it was hit with similar charges and the end result was a painful $690M USD fine. Intel has even more to lose as it is constantly price cutting to stay competitive and has smaller profit margins, which force it to engage in yearly layoffs.