Intel Accuses EC of Mishandling Antitrust Evidence

Intel on Monday sharply criticized the European Commission, which found it guilty of anticompetitive behavior, accusing the regulator of being selective with evidence it looked at and, essentially, setting out to find the company guilty.

Intel's statement came on the same day the EC released a document that detailed e-mail exchanges between Intel and computer manufacturers. EC antitrust officials described the e-mail exchanges as "smoking gun" evidence in the probe, which resulted in the chip maker being fined €1.06 billion (US$1.45 billion) in May.

In its Monday statement, Intel attacked the EC's handling of the case.

"Intel has reluctantly concluded that the Commission initiated the investigation with a predisposed view to alter the results of competition, and consequently tended to assess the evidence with a prosecutorial bent to confirm its point of view. In doing so, it ignored or minimized – and indeed at times even refused to obtain – important evidence that contradicted its view of the world. The result was a consistently one-sided and result-oriented selection and interpretation of the evidence," Intel wrote in the document, which is available on the chip maker's Web site.

The EC also failed to understand the competitive context of the x86 processor and PC markets and the way in which Intel competes with chief competitor Advanced Micro Devices, Intel said.

Among the important evidence ignored by EC was an interview with a Dell executive who provided evidence favorable to Intel, Intel said. Intel took the matter to the Commission's ombudsman, who concluded in a July decision that the failure "to record and preserve the evidence produced at this key meeting amounted to maladministration on the part of the Commission," according to Intel.

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