The European Commission's $1.45 billion fine of Intel should be struck down or severely scaled back because the commission ignored crucial evidence, failed to prove the chipmaker stifled competition, and never established that any consumers were harmed, according to a summary of Intel's appeal in the case.
The two-page summary posted sometime after Friday on the Web page of the European appellate court, known as the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, provides the first detailed public disclosure of Intel's defense in the case, which has been kept substantially secret since Intel was fined on May 13.
European regulators have accused the Santa Clara company of two types of anti-competitive practices involving its microprocessors, the brainy chips that power personal computers and many other devices.
One accusation was that Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, on condition they buy all or almost all of their microprocessors from Intel, instead of Intel's main microprocessor competitor, Advanced Micro Devices of Sunnyvale. The second claim was that Intel made direct payments to computer makers to halt or delay the launch of products containing AMD's microprocessors.
But in the summary of its appeal, Intel contends the fine — the largest the commission has ever issued against a company — "is manifestly disproportionate given that the commission fails to establish any consumer harm or
foreclosure of the competitors."
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