Intel faces massive EC antitrust fine

The European Commission may this week hit Intel with one of the largest fines the commission has ever issued.

The antitrust watchdogs will conclude an eight-year investigation into Intel's business practices on Wednesday, the Guardian said.

Intel has been accused of offering rebates and incentives to computer manufacturers which agreed not to use competitor AMD's processors.

The EC has the ability to level a maximum fine of 10% of a company's annual revenue, although the maximum is rarely imposed. Intel had a turnover of $37.6 billion (€27.65 billion) in 2008.  

It slapped a fine of €497 million on Microsoft for anti-competitive behavior on March 24 – its biggest ever penalty.

If Intel is found guilty of anticompetitive practices, it could face restrictions on how it operates in Europe. It could also leave the IT giant open to damage claims from AMD as well as other hardware firms.