Kildare-based Intel wins appeal against €1.06 billion fine

Intel claims a victory against EU over €1bn antitrust fine after ECJ ruling

Intel claims a victory against EU over €1bn antitrust fine after ECJ ruling

Europe's highest court has kept alive an appeal by the micro-processor giant Intel against a €1.06 billion fine for alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

Nevertheless it will be a big encouragement to other large U.S. tech companies that have fallen foul of the EU's Competition Authority, Qualcomm is being investigated over payments made to Apple over the use of its chips in iPhones and iPads and Google is also being investigated over its contract terms with phonemakers and networks using its Android software.

The EU's top court ruled that Intel's appeal had to be reexamined by a lower tribunal, criticizing judges for failing to properly analyze the economic aspects of the case in its 2014 decision to reject the chipmaker's challenge. The ECJ has demanded that the case be re-examined by the lower court.

The General Court in its 2014 ruling upheld the European Commission's 2009 decision but past year an court adviser recommended backing Intel's arguments.

The European Court of Justice said in a statement that the lower court failed to examine whether Intel's rebates to other companies restricted competition. It was superseded by the $2.7 billion antitrust fine the European regulatory body imposed on Google in June.

In its appeal, Intel had disputed the application and findings of the AEC test.

Cleveland Indians had their suspicions about the sign-stealing Boston Red Sox
Speaking to reporters in in Boston on Tuesday, the commissioner said, "We actually do not have a rule against sign stealing". It's not known how long the Red Sox have been at it, but it's been "at least several weeks", according to Schmidt.

That could make it more hard for small dominant businesses to engage in competition suits, since they couldn't rely on presumptions and would need more proof.

The European Commission's competition department, at the time headed up by commissioner Neelie Kroes, fined Intel for abusing its dominant position in the x86 microprocessor market between 2002 and 2007. The original judgement centred on the company's use of an exclusivity clause, which offered rebates to computer manufacturers that purchased at least 95 percent of their chips from Intel.

Steven R. Rodgers, Intel's general counsel, said: "While this case concerns events that happened more than a decade ago, we have always believed that our actions were lawful and did not harm competition".

Intel appealed the decision to the EU's general court.

Whilst the Commission had emphasised that the rebates at issue were by their very nature capable of restricting competition, such that an "AEC test" was not necessary, the CJEU noted that the Commission nevertheless "carried out an in-depth examination of those circumstances", setting out "a very detailed analysis of the AEC test".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.