Just a couple of weeks ago, its offices in Germany were raided by EU investigators, and now its CEO is up on the stand in front of the European Commission.

Intel's chief exec Paul Otellini appeared today at a closed hearing to fight charges that his company abused its dominance and used illegal rebates to suppliers to hurt a smaller competitor.

The European Commission alleges specifically that Intel has made payments to computer makers to prevent them from using chips made by its rival, AMD - something Intel denies.

Representatives from both the US Federal Trade Commission and New York attorney general's office were reported to be in attendace as both are looking at Intel for possible antitrust violations.

While today, the floor was given to Intel, representatives from AMD and Hewlett Packard will be heard tomorrow.

According to Reuters, hearing officer Karen Williams will not make a decision, but will report her views to the competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Kroes will recommend a final decision to the full European Commission.

The Commission could then either choose to widen its case and issue new charges, or it could find Intel broke the law and order it to change its business practices; and, at that point, hit Intel with a fine.