Intel calls EU antitrust probe 'discriminatory and partial'

Intel said the EU's antitrust investigation of its business activities is 'discriminatory and partial.'

The European Union's antitrust investigation of Intel is "discriminatory and partial," the chip maker complained in an action that's detailed in a recent edition of the EU's official journal, saying it's not being permitted to properly defend itself against the charges.

Intel is accused of abusing its monopoly power in a bid to shut rival Advanced Micro Devices out of the CPU market, allegations laid out in a statement of objections and a supplementary statement of objections released last year and earlier this year, respectively.

According to those documents, Intel allegedly sold chips below cost and paid rebates to a computer maker and a chain of retail stores, which have not been named officially, in exchange for a commitment to only sell the company's processors and not rival products. The chip maker also allegedly paid the computer maker to delay the launch of products based on AMD chips.

In previous public statements, Intel has professed its innocence and said it expects to be cleared of the charges. Now, the chip maker is taking aim at the European Commission itself and its handling of the antitrust investigation.

In the action filed on Oct. 10, Intel claimed the EC failed to obtain "documentary evidence" from the complainant in the case, an apparent reference to AMD, and rejected Intel's assertion that it cannot respond to the antitrust charges without these documents, the journal said. Intel declared that decision was "manifestly illegal."

The chip maker did not detail what documents it wants to see, or how it expects them to bolster its claims of innocence.

Intel wants the EC decisions annulled and it wants the deadline for its reply to the statements of objections to be extended to 30 days after the documents named in its complaint are provided to the chip maker. The chip maker also wants the EC to pay its court costs.

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Sumner Lemon

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