LONDON The European Commission is set to rule next Thursday (May 13) that Intel Corp. breached anti-trust rules in its selling of microprocessors and to implement a massive fine, according to a Reuters report.
It is speculated elsewhere online that the European Union will levy the world's largest ever anti-trust fine which could be twice the size of a $663 million fine imposed on Microsoft in 2004. Some are hinting that a 1 billion euro (about $1.35 billion) fine could be handed down although in theory Europe could seek up to 10 percent of Intel's annual sales. In 2008 Intel sales were $37.6 billion.
The news of the fine has been waited for some time after Intel attempted to delay the ruling by appealing to the Court of First Instance that it had been discriminated against.
Intel had already been found guilty of anti-trust practices by the competition authorities in Japan and Korea. The charges in Europe are that, during the earlier part of the decade, Intel used rebates to persuade a retailer to sell only Intel-based personal computers, as well as doing illegal deals with PC manufacturers.
The size of the penalty will be discussed by representatives from the 27 European Union governments next week and the European Commission is now expected to order changes in how Intel provides rebates to its customers.
Related links and articles:
Intel loses another round against EU regulators
Intel accuses Europe of discrimination, seeks antitrust reversal
Intel poised for high EU fine, paper says