LONDON The European Court of First Instance has rejected Intel's attempt to delay publication of the European Commission's findings on the anti-trust allegations against the chip maker.
The ruling means that the investigation is now likely to move ahead immediately, and could pave the way for a final decision by EU regulators on whether Intel used illegal marketing practices to squeeze AMD, its main competitor out of the market.
Announcement of the decision, expected last October, was postponed following Intel filing a case with the EC court alleging Intel needed to see more documents to defend itself properly. The court has ruled that it doesn't need to see the documents to defend itself properly.
Intel has already been found guilty of such practices by the competition authorities in Japan and Korea and is being investigated on similar charges by the attorney-general of New York.
Neelie Kroes, EU competition commissioner, recently beefed up the EC’s charges against Intel by alleging that the company used rebates to persuade a retailer to sell only Intel-based personal computers, as well as doing illegal deals with PC manufacturers.
The Commission wasted no time welcoming the CFI's decision. "The commission is pleased that the CFI president has confirmed that the commission's antitrust investigation should not be suspended. The commission's investigation remains ongoing," it said in a statement.
However Intel said that it was disappointed and will consider its options.
It said in a statement the ruling "has no bearing on the merits of this case."
It added : "Certain AMD documents were made part of the record in the European proceeding
and Intel sought to demonstrate that those documents indicated that other highly relevant documents existed."
Not surprisingly, AMD welcomed the ruling. "The order is entirely consistent with the continuous and clear case law on this issue and Intel's appeal was simply an attempt to delay the Commission's decision making process," AMD Executive Vice President, Legal, Corporate and Public Affairs Tom McCoy said in a statement.
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