updated 05:05 pm EST, Wed November 18, 2009
Intel suit contained mistakes, says ombudsman
The European Ombudsman has reprimanded European Union regulators on Wednesday for mistakes in its antitrust probe of Intel. In his report, ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros said the Commission failed to make a proper record of its meeting with Dell in relation to the Intel investigation. The note did not conclude whether or not the EU anti-trust body infringed Intel's rights of defense.
The recommendations of the ombudsman don't carry much official weight, but they may help Intel in its appeal against the decision to Europe's second-highest court.
There was also no indication of whether Intel's argument that the Commission had encouraged Dell to exchange information with AMD.
The Commission does not agree with the ombudsman's finding that the internal note should have been shared.
"Such internal notes are normally not accessible since they also reflect the Commission's investigative strategy which parties do not have a right to access," the EU executive said. "Intel's rights of defense were fully respected throughout the procedure."
Intel, on the other hand, maintains the ombudsman's findings mirror its arguments in the appeal.
Despite this, the 1.06 billion euro fine levied by the EU will not be affected. The fine was levied in May for illegally shutting rival chipmaker AMD from the European market.