updated 07:45 pm EDT, Wed April 22, 2009
EU set to fine Intel
The European Union has prepared a draft decision in an ongoing antitrust case against Intel that appears to be approaching completion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter claim the EU will seek a fine against the company, although the draft can be modified as it continues through the process.
The case involves conflict with the company's competitor, AMD, in the European market. The UE asserts that Intel planned to oust AMD from the market by undercutting prices and providing incentives to vendors for removing AMD-based systems from their inventories. Intel claims the payments were part of a standard discount program and the retailer incentives simply involved getting better placement on store shelves.
Intel requested to have the case delayed, claiming more time was needed to obtain documents from AMD that allegedly prove its actions were misrepresented. Seven documents were produced, but the European Commission denied access to additional materials. The company was recently denied an oral hearing after failing to provide a response for seven months since the case was initiated.
A final ruling requires approval from the European Commission, which could come as early as next month. The exact amount of the fines remains unknown, although the antitrust ruling has the potential to demand up to ten percent of the company's annual earnings.