Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block]
Note 20: Commitments and Contingencies
Portions of our capital equipment and certain facilities are under operating leases that expire at various dates through 2058. Additionally, portions of our real property are under leases that expire at various dates through 2017. Rental expense was $282 million in 2016 ($253 million in 2015 and $257 million in 2014).
Minimum rental commitments under all non-cancelable leases with an initial term in excess of one year were as follows as of December 31, 2016:
Commitments for construction or purchase of property, plant and equipment totaled $7.5 billion as of December 31, 2016 ($5.7 billion as of December 26, 2015), a substantial majority of which will be due within the next 12 months. Other purchase obligations and commitments totaled approximately $3.0 billion as of December 31, 2016 (approximately $4.0 billion as of December 26, 2015). Other purchase obligations and commitments include payments due under various types of licenses and agreements to purchase goods or services, as well as payments due under non-contingent funding obligations. In addition, we have various contractual commitments with Micron and IMFT. For further information on these contractual commitments, see "Note 9: Investments."
During 2012, we entered into a series of agreements with ASML Holding N.V. (ASML) intended to accelerate the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography projects and deep ultraviolet immersion lithography projects, including generic developments applicable to both 300mm and 450mm. Certain of these agreements were amended in 2014. Under the amended agreements, Intel agreed to provide R&D funding totaling €829 million over five years and committed to advance purchase orders for a specified number of tools from ASML. Our remaining obligation, contingent upon ASML achieving certain milestones, is approximately €193 million, or $202 million, as of December 31, 2016. As our obligation is contingent upon ASML achieving certain milestones, we have excluded this obligation from other purchase obligations and commitments.
We are a party to various legal proceedings, including those noted in this section. Although management at present believes that the ultimate outcome of these proceedings, individually and in the aggregate, will not materially harm our financial position, results of operations, cash flows, or overall trends, legal proceedings and related government investigations are subject to inherent uncertainties, and unfavorable rulings or other events could occur. Unfavorable resolutions could include substantial monetary damages. In addition, in matters for which injunctive relief or other conduct remedies are sought, unfavorable resolutions could include an injunction or other order prohibiting us from selling one or more products at all or in particular ways, precluding particular business practices, or requiring other remedies. An unfavorable outcome may result in a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial position, and overall trends. We might also conclude that settling one or more such matters is in the best interests of our stockholders, employees, and customers, and any such settlement could include substantial payments. Except as specifically described below, we have not concluded that settlement of any of the legal proceedings noted in this section is appropriate at this time.
Government Competition Matters and Consumer Class Actions
In 2001, the European Commission (EC) commenced an investigation regarding claims by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) that we used unfair business practices to persuade customers to buy our microprocessors. We received numerous requests for information and documents from the EC and we responded to each of those requests. The EC issued a Statement of Objections in July 2007 and held a hearing on that Statement in March 2008. The EC issued a Supplemental Statement of Objections in July 2008. In May 2009, the EC issued a decision finding that we had violated Article 82 of the EC Treaty and Article 54 of the European Economic Area Agreement. In general, the EC found that we violated Article 82 (later renumbered as Article 102 by a new treaty) by offering alleged "conditional rebates and payments" that required our customers to purchase all or most of their x86 microprocessors from us. The EC also found that we violated Article 82 by making alleged "payments to prevent sales of specific rival products." The EC imposed a fine in the amount of €1.1 billion ($1.4 billion as of May 2009), which we subsequently paid during the third quarter of 2009, and ordered us to "immediately bring to an end the infringement referred to in" the EC decision.
The EC decision contained no specific direction on whether or how we should modify our business practices. Instead, the decision stated that we should "cease and desist" from further conduct that, in the EC's opinion, would violate applicable law. We took steps, which are subject to the EC's ongoing review, to comply with that decision pending appeal. We had discussions with the EC to better understand the decision and to explain changes to our business practices.
We appealed the EC decision to the Court of First Instance (which has been renamed the General Court) in July 2009. The hearing of our appeal took place in July 2012. In June 2014, the General Court rejected our appeal in its entirety. In August 2014, we filed an appeal with the European Court of Justice. In November 2014, Intervener Association for Competitive Technologies filed comments in support of Intel’s grounds of appeal. The EC and interveners filed briefs in November 2014, we filed a reply in February 2015, and the EC filed a rejoinder in April 2015. The Court of Justice held oral argument in June 2016. In October 2016, Advocate General Wahl, an advisor to the Court of Justice, issued a non-binding advisory opinion which favored Intel on a number of grounds, with the 25-judge grand chamber’s decision expected in the first half of 2017.
At least 82 separate class-action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of California, Southern District of California, District of Idaho, District of Nebraska, District of New Mexico, District of Maine, and District of Delaware, as well as in various California, Kansas, and Tennessee state courts. These actions generally repeat the allegations made in a now-settled lawsuit filed against us by AMD in June 2005 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (AMD litigation). Like the AMD litigation, these class-action lawsuits allege that we engaged in various actions in violation of the Sherman Act and other laws by, among other things: providing discounts and rebates to our manufacturer and distributor customers conditioned on exclusive or near-exclusive dealing that allegedly unfairly interfered with AMD's ability to sell its microprocessors; interfering with certain AMD product launches; and interfering with AMD's participation in certain industry standards-setting groups. The class actions allege various consumer injuries, including that consumers in various states have been injured by paying higher prices for computers containing our microprocessors.
All of the federal and state class actions other than the California class actions were transferred by the Multidistrict Litigation Panel to the U.S. District Court in Delaware for all pre-trial proceedings and discovery (MDL proceedings). The Delaware district court appointed a Special Master to address issues in the MDL proceedings, as assigned by the court. In July 2010, the Special Master denied the MDL plaintiffs' motion to certify a class of members who purchased certain personal computers containing products sold by us. In July 2014, the district court affirmed the Special Master's ruling and issued an order denying the MDL plaintiffs' motion for class certification. In August 2014, plaintiffs filed a petition for interlocutory appeal of the district court's decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which the Third Circuit denied in October 2014. In December 2014, we filed a motion for summary judgment on the claims of the remaining individual plaintiffs. We subsequently negotiated a settlement of the claims and the case was dismissed in September 2015.
All California class actions were consolidated in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County. In March 2008, the plaintiffs in the California actions moved for class certification, which we opposed. In February 2015, the court granted plaintiffs' request for leave to retain a new expert and to amend their previous motion for class certification. In March 2016, the court denied plaintiffs’ amended class certification motion, and plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration. The parties subsequently agreed to settle the case, and the lawsuit was dismissed in July 2016.
Shareholder Derivative Litigation regarding In re High Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation
In March 2014, the Police Retirement System of St. Louis (PRSSL) filed a shareholder derivative action in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County against Intel, certain current and former members of our Board of Directors, and a current officer. The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their duties to the company by participating in, or allowing, purported antitrust violations which were alleged in a now-settled antitrust class action lawsuit captioned In re High Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation claiming that Intel, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar conspired to suppress their employees’ compensation. In March 2014, a second plaintiff, Barbara Templeton, filed a substantially similar derivative suit in the same court. In May 2014, a third shareholder, Robert Achermann, filed a substantially similar derivative action in the same court. The court consolidated the three actions into one, which is captioned In re Intel Corporation Shareholder Derivative Litigation. Plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint in July 2014. In August 2015, the court granted our motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint. The plaintiffs thereafter filed a motion for reconsideration and a motion for new trial, both of which the court denied in October 2015. In November 2015, plaintiffs PRSSL and Templeton appealed the court's decision.
In June 2015, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) filed a shareholder derivative action in the Chancery Court in Delaware against Intel, certain current and former members of our Board of Directors, and a current officer. The lawsuit makes allegations that are substantially similar to those in the California shareholder derivative litigation described above, but contain additional allegations regarding breach of the duty of disclosure surrounding the In re High Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation and that Intel's 2013 and 2014 proxy statements were false and misleading in that they misrepresented the effectiveness of the Board’s oversight of compliance issues at Intel and the Board’s compliance with Intel’s Code of Conduct and Board of Director Guidelines on Significant Corporate Governance Issues. In October 2015, the court stayed the IBEW lawsuit for six months pending further developments in the California case. In March 2016, Intel and IBEW entered into a stipulated dismissal pursuant to which IBEW dismissed its complaint but may re-file upon the withdrawal or final resolution of the appeal in the PRSSL California shareholder derivative litigation.
In April 2016, John Esposito filed a shareholder derivative action in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County against Intel, current members of our Board, and certain former officers and employees. Esposito made a demand on our Board in 2013 to investigate whether our officers or directors should be sued for their participation in the events described in In re High Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation. In November 2015, our Board decided not to take further action on Esposito’s demand based on the recommendation of the Audit Committee of the Board after its investigation of relevant facts and circumstances. Esposito seeks to set aside such decision, and alleges that the Board was not disinterested in making that decision and that the investigation was inadequate. In August 2016, Intel filed a motion to dismiss Esposito’s complaint. In November 2016, the court granted Intel’s motion to dismiss the case, without leave to amend. Esposito may appeal this decision.
McAfee, Inc. Shareholder Litigation
On August 19, 2010, we announced that we had agreed to acquire all of the common stock of McAfee, Inc. (McAfee) for $48.00 per share. Four McAfee shareholders filed putative class action lawsuits in Santa Clara County, California Superior Court challenging the proposed transaction. The cases were ordered consolidated in September 2010. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that named former McAfee board members, McAfee, and Intel as defendants, and alleged that the McAfee board members breached their fiduciary duties and that McAfee and Intel aided and abetted those breaches of duty. The complaint requested rescission of the merger agreement, such other equitable relief as the court may deem proper, and an award of damages in an unspecified amount. In June 2012, the plaintiffs’ damages expert asserted that the value of a McAfee share for the purposes of assessing damages should be $62.08.
In January 2012, the court certified the action as a class action, appointed the Central Pension Laborers’ Fund to act as the class representative, and scheduled trial to begin in January 2013. In March 2012, defendants filed a petition with the California Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate to reverse the class certification order; the petition was denied in June 2012. In March 2012, at defendants’ request, the court held that plaintiffs were not entitled to a jury trial and ordered a bench trial. In April 2012, plaintiffs filed a petition with the California Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate to reverse that order, which the court of appeal denied in July 2012. In August 2012, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted that motion in November 2012, and entered final judgment in the case in February 2013. In April 2013, plaintiffs appealed the final judgment. Intel, McAfee, and McAfee’s board of directors filed an opposition to plaintiff’s appeal in December 2014. Because the resolution of the appeal may materially impact the scope and nature of the proceeding, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses, if any, arising from this matter. We dispute the class-action claims and intend to continue to defend the lawsuit vigorously.