Intel begins appeal against $1.3 billion European fine
7/3/2012 1:20 PM EDT
LONDON – Intel Corp., the world's largest chip maker, has begun its appeal against the imposition of a 1.06 billion euro (about $1.33 billion) fine by the European Commission, in front of a panel of five judges in a court in Luxembourg.
The fine, originally set at 1.1 billion euro, was imposed by the European Commission in 2009 after it found Intel guilty of anti-trust offences over a period dating back to 2002. Intel is alleged to have offered discounts to PC makers for as long as they used exclusively or mainly Intel processors within their machines.
Intel's defense is that the European Commission was wrong to judge these discounts as illegal without checking if they actually shut out competition – principally Advanced Micro Devices Inc. – from the market and had "immediate, substantial, direct and foreseeable effects" on sales to European customers.
The hearing is expected to take several months. Companies can appeal to the higher court, the European Union Court of Justice, if they don't like the ruling from the General Court.
Since 2009 Intel has been active in Europe investing in both R&D and in manufacturing. Intel announced the formation of the Intel Labs Europe research network in 2009 and in May 2012 announced plans to invest $1 billion at Leixlip near Dublin Ireland to enable 14-nm manufacturing there.