Intel's appeal of the €1bn European Commission (EC) anti-trust fine has officially hit the General Court in Luxembourg.
The EC handed the chip maker a €1bn fine in 2009 over claims Intel had unfairly hampered competitors in the market.
It was at the time the largest fine the EC had ever handed down. From the onset the chip maker has denied any wrong doing and has said the EC did not have enough evidence to warrant the fine.
"The quality of evidence relied on by the Commission is profoundly inadequate," Intel's lawyer Nicholas Green said to five General Court Judges in Luxembourg, according to Reuters.
"The analysis is hopelessly and irretrievably defective. The Commission's case turns on what customers' subjective understanding is."
The chip maker is arguing that the court lacked enough concrete evidence for a fine in the 2009 case. Intel's main point of contention is that the EC judges relied too heavily on subjective comments made by the company's customers.
The case dates back to a three-year investigation which started in 2006. Intel was charged with giving rebates to manufactures on the condition that they bought all their x86 chips from Intel. At the time, EC lawyers said that such rebates were illegal and inhibited competition.
"These kind of rebates can only be intended to tie customers and put competitors in an unfavourable position," Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan told judges in 2009.
"Intel carefully camouflaged its anti-competitive practices [in its contracts]."
Intel received justification for its appeal when the European Ombudsman chastised regulators for not taking proper notes when speaking with PC maker Dell about the charges. Dell was one of the hardware manufactures accused of taking Intel's rebate offers. The lack of notes from that meeting signified to the Ombudsman that the commission had committed an instance of "maladministration."
While Intel lawyers will have three days to state their case, a verdict is expected to take months as judges deliberate what comes out of the hearing. If unhappy with the ruling Intel can appeal its case to the EU Court of Justice.
Earlier this year Intel settled a case brought on by the New York Attorney's Office. The settlement cleared the company of any wrong doing, but required the chip maker to pay $6.5 million to cover the cost of trial.
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