Intel Corp. has formally appealed the record €1.06 billion ($1.5 billion) antitrust fine that the European Commission levied against the U.S.-based company. According to Intel, one of the grounds for its appeal to the European Court of First Instance is that the fine violates European human rights law because a legal action resulting in such a large penalty should be under the jurisdiction of the EU’s criminal courts, rather than conducted as an administrative proceeding. Other companies hit with increasingly large fines from the EU’s antitrust regulator have raised the same argument, but so far no appeal has been won on this issue.  

In May, the Commission found that Intel violated Article 82 of the EC Treaty, known as the “abuse of dominance” rules, by engaging in the following conduct aimed at excluding its rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) from the market: (i) giving hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on the condition that they bought all or the great majority of their x86 central processing units (CPUs) from Intel; (ii) making payments to a major retailer on the condition that it would carry only computers containing Intel x86 CPUs; and (iii) making direct payments to computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing AMD CPUs and to limit the sales channels available to these products.