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Intel to appeal EU fine

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Intel said it will appeal the record €1.06bn ($1.5bn) fine imposed on it by the European Competition Commission.

In a strongly worded statement, Intel's chief executive Paul Otellini said: “Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace... There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal.”

Otellini said the Director General for Competition "ignored or refused to obtain significant evidence that contradicts the assertions in this decision."

He said Intel never sells chips at below cost.

But the Commission decision this morning said: "a competitor that was just as efficient as Intel would have had to offer a price for its CPUs lower than its costs of producing those CPUs, even if the average price of its CPUs was lower than that of Intel."

The Commission decision found Intel guilty of two practises - of offering PC makers rebates for buying all, or most, of their chips from Intel. Secondly it was found guilty of making direct payments to a retailer if it only stocked Intel machines. The chip giant was found guilty of abusing its monopoly position between 2002 and 2007. The five manufacturers were Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC and the retailer was Media Saturn Holding which trades as MediaMarkt and Saturn.

Otellini said any discounts were the result of Intel's investment in innovation. He said despite their disagreements, Intel and the Commission would work together to ensure compliance while the appeal process progresses. ®

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