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Intel seeks more time to respond to EU antitrust allegations

[JURIST] Intel [corporate website] has asked the European Commission (EC) [official website] to extend its October 8 deadline to respond to antitrust accusations [press release; JURIST report] prepared by the EC in July over Intel's price and rebate tactics, which the EC said had the effect of driving smaller companies, such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate website] out of the market. On Monday, an EU official said that Intel's request was still under consideration. According to the Statement of Objections (SO) sent to the semiconductor manufacturing giant in July, Intel violated the Treaty of Rome's antitrust prohibitions [Article 82 backgrounder] by providing "substantial rebates" to various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) if the OEMs purchased the majority of their processors from Intel, thereby abusing its dominant position in the x86 architecture [Wikipedia backgrounder] processor market. Intel has previously said that the EC has mistakenly concluded that Intel broke the law. The EC has the ability to fine companies as much as 10 percent of its global annual revenues if it finds that there has been violations of EU antitrust rules.

Last September, a US federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that AMD could not proceed with a major portion of its case accusing Intel of anticompetitive practices [JURIST report] outside the United States. A trial is scheduled for 2009, however, on remaining allegations in AMD's complaint [PDF text] that Intel issued secret rebates to customers buying microprocessors in order to gain business over AMD and that Intel coerced buyers into exclusive deals. Reuters has more.

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