Intel responds to European antitrust regulators' allegations

Chipmaker dishes up its response to the European Commission's allegations that it violated antitrust laws with its rebate practices.

Intel on Monday formally responded to the European Commission's allegations that the chip giant violated antitrust laws by abusing its dominant market position.

In addition to responding to the Commission's "statement of objections" that the antitrust agency filed in July, Intel will also seek an oral hearing on the matter, said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman.

Once that hearing concludes, the Commission has one of three paths it can take: request more information from the chipmaker, remove the objections, or levy fines and sanctions against the company.

The Commission is under no deadline to choose any path in these types of procedures, said Linda Cain, a spokeswoman for the Commission.

The oral hearing and as Intel's Monday response to the Commission are confidential. However, if the Commission decides to take action against the chip giant, relevant information will be public.

Oral hearings, generally, usually take place about a month after a company files its response to the "statement of objections," Cain said.

The European Commission's concerns over Intel's rebates to its customers have landed the chipmaker in hot water with regulatory agencies in Japan and Korea.

In 2005, Intel reached an agreement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission over a similar case, which centered on its use of rebates to allegedly shut out competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices. And in September, South Korea's Fair Trade Commission also raised concerns over Intel's rebate program.

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