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EC Wrong, Wrong, Wrong – and Sloppy to Boot: Intel

Intel says the Commission didn’t bother to do an analysis of foreclosure

Intel's appeal to the Court of First Instance of the European Commission's monopoly abuse decision against it claims that the EC didn't prove that it hammered AMD into the ground with its discounts.

According to a summary of the otherwise sealed appeal published over the weekend in the Official Journal of the European Union, Intel says that the EC made an error of law in assuming that its discounts were per se abusive simply because they were conditional. It never proved they actually foreclosed competition.

It says the Commission didn't bother to do an analysis of foreclosure and didn't bother to check to see if its rebates had any "immediate, substantial, direct and foreseeable effects" in Europe.

Intel claims that the EC's evidence fails to meet the required standard of proof in failing to address the fact that during 2002-2007, the time of Intel's alleged offense, AMD's server market share spiked and its profits increased. Intel contends that AMD's failure to win business in other market segments was its own fault and says the EC's decision fails to establish a causal link between Intel's discounts and the OEMs' decisions not to buy from AMD.

It also says the EC made no analysis of the impact of Intel's discounts on consumers even though it cited the so-called harm Intel had allegedly done to millions of consumers for the size of $1.45 billion fine it hit Intel with back in May, the largest fine ever imposed on a single company.

Intel, which wants all or at least some of its money back, claims the fine is "manifestly disproportionate given that the Commission fails to establish any consumer harm or foreclosure of the competitors."

It alleges that the EC failed to apply its own 2006 fining guidelines correctly and "takes into account irrelevant or inappropriate considerations."

The appeal claims the EC can't prove Intel engaged in a "long-term strategy to foreclose" AMD and ignored potentially exculpatory evidence, which "materially infringed Intel's right of defense." Intel also claims it was denied due process in being denied a hearing after the EC lodged its Supplementary Statement of Objections with a new set of allegations and new evidence that bore materially on its final decision.

It wants the Luxembourg court to void the EC's decision "in whole or in part." It also wants the Commission to pay its costs.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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