Fine for Intel
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has challenged a $1.2bn fine handed down by the European Commission in 2009 in a case to force rival AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) out of the processor market. This was reported by Bloomberg news agency.
The European Union (EU) General Court ruled that European regulators committed "key errors" during the investigation 13 years ago and issued a fine to Intel. The company had been trying to appeal it since 2009 in various instances.
During the first investigation, the EU commission concluded that from 2002 to 2005, Intel gave rebates to manufacturers if they agreed to install the company's chips in at least 95% of their computers. In doing so, it limited AMD's options, as the firm was only allowed to work with 5% of devices.
According to Bloomberg, the billion-dollar fine represented about 4 per cent of Intel's $37.6 billion in sales in 2008. The litigation and multi-lateral appeal continued without interruption for 12 years, including the rejection of the appeal in 2014 and various transfers between courts at different levels. In 2017, the ECJ, the highest court in the EU, told the General Court to hear the case again.
Now the court has concluded that the EC provided an "incomplete" analysis of the situation. It therefore wrongly concluded that the application of the rebates had, or could have, anticompetitive effects.