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By | John Oates 11th March 2008 15:52

Intel's Otellini faces Brussels court

Two-day hearing kicks off

Intel's boss Paul Otellini is giving evidence in Brussels today as part of a two-day hearing into monopoly charges against the chip giant.

Intel is accused of offering rebates to computer makers which favoured its chips over those from rival AMD.

The two-day hearing is being held in closed session in front of Karen Williams, one of two Hearing Officers. The role of Hearing Officer is to ensure "the right to be heard". After listening to evidence, she will report back to Competition Commissioner "Steelie" Neelie Kroes.

The charges under consideration today are as follows:

First, Intel has provided substantial rebates to various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) conditional on them obtaining all or the great majority of their CPU requirements from Intel.

Secondly, in a number of instances, Intel made payments in order to induce an OEM to either delay or cancel the launch of a product line incorporating an AMD-based CPU.

Thirdly, in the context of bids against AMD-based products for strategic customers in the server segment of the market, Intel has offered CPUs on average below cost.

Intel has denied any wrongdoing, saying the market for computer chips is working normally and that its conduct has been lawful and pro-competitive.

The company faces similar charges in the US.

In a separate investigation, the Competition Commission is looking at whether Intel abused its position to influence computer retailers. ®

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