The European Commission said it will rule by August or September in its antitrust investigation into Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, according to news reports this week.

The timeline came after a spokesman for the EC denied a Financial Times Deutschland report that the Commission had reached a provisional decision against Intel. If the EC deems that Intel’s anticompetitive actions were illegal, then they could fine the company up to ten percent of their annual revenue or $2.6 billion Euros and demand they alter their sales practices.

The EU began investigating whether Intel’s practice of offering rebates to personal-computer makers using their chips was misleading in 2000 and then reopened the case in 2004. Chipmaker AMD has filed several lawsuits starting in 2001 in hopes of getting the EU to investigate.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is pleased to hear the long-awaited decision by the European Commission will be out in a few months.

“After years of investigation, we are glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA. “If Intel is using unfair tactics to snuff out competition in the market for microprocessors, then we can look forward to a future of high prices and limited innovation in this critical arena. We encourage the EC to act quickly to send the message that illegal anticompetitive actions will not be tolerated.”

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