Intel appeals against antitrust fine

Intel appeals against antitrust fine

Summary: The chip company has appealed a May decision by the European Commission to fine it €1bn for anti-competitive practices

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TOPICS: Processors
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Intel has lodged an appeal against an antitrust fine levied against it by the European Commission in May.

The microprocessor firm lodged its appeal against the €1.06bn (£951m) fine in the European Court of First Instance on Wednesday — although the company has not yet revealed the precise legal basis for the appeal.

"We felt the EC decision was incorrect, and that evidence was ignored or misinterpreted," an Intel spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Thursday. "We believe the Commission ignored the realities of the microprocessor market, which is highly competitive."

However, the Commission said on Thursday that it had made the right decision in levying the fine. "The Commission is confident its antitrust decision is legally watertight," competition spokesman Jonathon Todd told ZDNet UK.

In May, the Commission found that Intel had made direct payments to Media Saturn Holding, which owns the European electronics retail chain, Media Markt. The Commission said the payments were designed to ensure that Media Markt would only stock computers with Intel x86 chips.

However, at the time, Intel senior vice president Bruce Sewell denied making any direct payments to retailers or customers, saying Intel had made discounts or "incentives in the form of funds to launch marketing campaigns". Sewell also denied that Intel had put any conditions on the rebates it offered to computer manufacturers.

On Thursday, Intel's spokesperson said consumers had actively benefited from the workings of the microprocessor market.

"Since the Commission investigation started in 2001, [chip] prices have fallen by more than half," said the spokesperson. "We think consumers have benefited from falling prices."

Intel on Thursday declined to give any specific details of the legal grounds for its complaint against the Commission decision. However, ZDNet UK understands that the European Court of First Instance will publish details of the appeal in several weeks' time.

Topic: Processors

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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2 comments
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  • Just better

    While I don't really know any detail of this, it does come across as the EU trying to chop large global companies off at the knees for being successful. More of a tax than protecting consumers.

    In my opinion Intel (for a number of years) have been producing better processors faster than their main rival AMD, and crucially they have a very effective marketing strategy that has resulted in a very high brand recognition with consumers. With such a high brand awareness will companies WANT to stock AMD or Intel powered PCs?
    project10-55857
  • So Intel is trying to take credit for falling prices...

    "Since the Commission investigation started in 2001, [chip] prices have fallen by more than half," said the spokesperson. "We think consumers have benefited from falling prices."

    The way I see it the prices dropping over the years probably has more to do with the fact that since the early 2000's the both the console markets and the likes of companies like apple have made significant gains in capturing more market share.

    When the initial duel core's where launched from both companies the AMD ones where far better than Intel's definition's, and yet companies like Dell where still shipping Intel single cores, hmm wonder why.
    CA-aba1d