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Intel responds to EC antitrust charges

The chip giant has given its response to the European Commission's charges of anti-competitive behaviour against AMD
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Written by Tom Espiner on

Intel has given its response to the European Commission's antitrust charges, but no substantial details of the response have yet been made public.

The charges relate to the way Intel has competed against rival chipmaker AMD in Europe. According to Commission competition spokesperson Linda Cain, Intel gave a response to the antitrust charges on Monday morning, meeting a deadline set on Friday. Cain declined to make public any details of Intel's response.

The spokeswoman said the next stage in the process would be for the Commission Directorate Generale for Competition to carefully look at what Intel has sent and decide whether any further action is needed.

Speaking to ZDNet.co.uk's sister site CNET News.com on Monday, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said that, in addition to responding to the Commission's charges, Intel will seek an oral hearing on the matter.

Once that hearing concludes, the Commission has one of three paths it can take: request more information from the chipmaker; remove the objections; or levy fines and sanctions against the company. The Commission has powers to fine companies up to 10 percent of their global annual revenues for anti-competitive behaviour.

Intel told CNET News.com that both its response and the oral hearing will be confidential. Intel missed a Friday deadline to provide a response to the EC antitrust charges, but successfully applied to have it extended until Monday.

The Commission's antitrust charges were sent as a so-called "statement of objections" to Intel on 26 July, 2007. At the time, the Commission's view was that Intel had sought to exclude its main rival AMD from the x86 central processing unit (CPU) market by providing rebates to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on the condition they obtain all or the majority of their CPUs from Intel.

The Commission also maintained that Intel paid OEMs to delay the launch of products containing AMD chips, and that it offered strategic partners server CPUs at below-average cost in bids against AMD-based products.

CNET News.com's Dawn Kawamoto contributed to this article.

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