Intel counter-attacks EC over antitrust claims

The chipmaker is asking for the EC to obtain documents from AMD, the complainant in the antitrust dispute, and wants the Commission to pay its costs

Intel has struck back at antitrust charges levelled against it by the European Commission.

The Commission alleged in July that Intel abused its market position in Europe by offering retailers financial incentives for not buying products from the chipmaker's rival AMD. In a notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union this week, it emerged that Intel had brought a counter-action against the Commission on 10 October, at the Court of First Instance of the European Communities.

Intel is complaining about several things, notably the alleged refusal by the Commission to procure documents — particularly from AMD — that Intel says are "directly relevant" to the allegations made by the Commission. It is also asking the court to annul a decision by the hearing officer in the case to reject Intel's submission that it "cannot respond properly to the [statement of objections] without being provided with those documents".

Intel also wants an extra 30 days to respond to those documents, starting from the date on which it receives them, and wants the Commission to pay its costs.

According to Intel, the hearing officer's decisions contain errors in law and do not allow the California-based chipmaker to properly defend itself.

"Secondly, [Intel] argues that the contested decisions are manifestly illegal because they permit the Commission to continue with an investigation which is discriminatory and partial, and which prevents [Intel] from exercising its rights of defence," the filing read.

A spokesperson for the EU competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the Commission would "obviously defend [its] side of the story at the Court of First Instance". The spokesperson would not comment on Intel's allegations, other than to say the antitrust investigation is continuing, and that a court decision on that investigation's findings was hoped for as soon as possible.