John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

The EC Pay Intel's Legal Expenses? Uh, Good Luck With That One.

ec_intc-150x150“Manifestly disproportionate.”

That’s how Intel describes the record $1.45 billion antitrust fine levied against it by the European Union, one the company evidently believes was meted out in error.

In an appeal filed with the European Court of First Instance, Intel asks that the European Commission’s antitrust ruling against it be annulled on the grounds that the EC failed “to meet the required standard of proof.”

Seems the chip giant feels the Commission’s analysis of its discounts and rebate programs was too shoddy to be trusted–especially when it’s being used as justification for the largest single penalty imposed on a company for antitrust breaches in Europe.

“The Commission fails to prove that Intel engaged in a long-term strategy to foreclose the competitors,” Intel (INTC) argues in its appeal. “Such a finding is not supported by the evidence and is impossible to reconcile with the fragmented nature of the Commission’s allegations (in relation to both products covered and time period) in respect of each Intel customer….The applicant also submits that all or part of the Decision should be annulled on the basis that the Commission infringed essential procedural requirements during the administrative procedure, which materially infringed Intel’s rights of defence.”

Clearly, former Intel general counsel Bruce Sewell, who left the company to take a job with Apple (AAPL) Tuesday, was busy right up until the time he packed up his desk.

Anyway, Intel asks the court to annul “whole or in part” the EC’s ruling and, barring that, to at least annul or reduce the fine imposed. Finally, it would also like to see the EC ordered to pay its legal expenses.


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