European Commission antitrust officials investigating computer chip maker Intel presented what they believe is a watertight argument for prosecuting the firm to an internal panel of so-called devils advocates on Tuesday, a person familiar with the investigation has said. Holding their case up to the scrutiny of the panel may indicate that the officials on the case are confident enough to push ahead with legal action. The panel was recently introduced into the antitrust investigation process in order to prevent poorly prepared cases turning into formal legal proceedings.
Intel has been under investigation by the commission for the past five years. With a global market share in the computer chip market of around 80 percent, the company dwarfs its nearest rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which accounts for the bulk of the remaining sales of chips around the world. Neither Intel nor the European Commission were immediately available to comment.