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Home > News > Industry News > Intel fine case referred back .....

Intel fine case referred back to lower court

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-09-07
Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, has ruled that a lower court should re-visit the Intel appeal against its $1.3 billion 2009 fine for anti-competitive practices.

“The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court, which had upheld the fine of 1.06 billion euros imposed on Intel by the Commission for abuse of a dominant position,” said the ECJ, “the case is referred back to the General Court in order for it to examine the arguments put forward by Intel concerning the capacity of the rebates at issue to restrict competition.”

Intel had given rebates to customers who bought 95% of their x86 requirements from Intel. It was alleged that Intel sold PC processors to strategic customers at below cost in order to exclude AMD from getting those orders and that Intel paid customers to try to make them delay or cancel the launch of products including AMD-based chips.

The EU Court of Justice ruled that the lower court should re-consider whether these rebates were anti-competitive.

It is possible that US companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google, which have tended to accept EU anti-trust penalties without a fight, may see fighting the EU in court as a viable option.

A win for Intel could embolden companies like Qualcomm and Apple, both still wrangling with the EU over legal issues, to accept the costs and effort involved in challenging the EU’s decisions.

The EU competition system has been seen as one in which the EU is prosecutor, jury and judge in its own cause.