Earlier this year, the European Commission imposed a massive fine upon Intel for its anti-competitive practices in the OEM space. Intel has been given the opportunity to respond, as is usual in cases like this, and the chip maker is claiming that the fine should be thrown out, because the EC did not prove that Intel’s practices hurt the competition.
Dutch EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was quite clear back in May why the massive fine was imposed upon Intel. “Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years,” she said, “Such a serious and sustained violation of the EU’s antitrust rules cannot be tolerated.”
More specifically, Intel was found guilty of giving discounts and rebates to OEMs under the condition that they kept 80% of their product portfolio powered by Intel processors. It also paid an OEM to delay products using processors from AMD. Now, Intel is claiming that these practices – the chip maker does not deny they took place – did, in fact, not harm consumers.
“[Intel] contends that the Commission errs in law by failing to analyse whether Intel’s rebate arrangements with its customers were implemented in the territory of the European Community and/or had immediate, substantial, direct and foreseeable effects within the European Community,” Intel writes.
Intel also touches on the peculiar case of the lost Dell evidence, which was uncovered in a report by the European Union’s ombudsman. The chip maker claims that this loss of evidence infringes on Intel’s right to defence. “[The EC] to make a proper note of its meeting with a key witness from one of Intel’s customers, who was highly likely to have given exculpatory evidence,” the appeal reads.
The appeal is currently being handled by the Court of First Instance.