EU court has Intel inside, appealing $1.4 billion antitrust fine

Intel paid the fine in 2009, but is still fighting for a rebate

Intel is still contesting a €1.06 billion (then US$1.4 billion) antitrust fine from the European Commission, which in May 2009 found it had abused its dominant position in the market for x86 processors.

The Court of Justice of the European Union heard Intel's appeal against that fine on Tuesday.

The facts of the case date back a decade or more, but Intel, having lost its first appeal before the EU's General Court in June 2014, fought on, filing its final appeal with the CJEU in August of that year.

In its 2009 ruling the Commission, the EU's top antitrust authority, found that between October 2002 and October 2007 Intel sought to exclude its main competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) from the x86 processor market.

Then with a 70 percent share of the worldwide x86 processor market, Intel granted exclusivity rebates to four PC and server manufacturers, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC, the Commission found. Intel also made payments to Media-Saturn on condition that the German distributor sold PCs with only Intel processors inside, the Commission said. The rebates and payments made it harder for other chip makers to compete, reducing consumer choice, it ruled.

Having failed to convince the General Court of its innocence in its first appeal, Intel has one last chance to escape the fine: convincing the CJEU to overturn the lower court's ruling on a point of law.

In its August 2014 appeal filing it set out six grounds on which it thought the CJEU should overturn or, failing that, at least significantly reduce, the fine.

The court has had plenty of time to study the appeal, the Commission's defense, Intel's reply and the Commission's rejoinder, filed in April 2015. Tuesday's hearing was scheduled for just 55 minutes, a court spokeswoman said.

Judgement won't come so quickly, however.

First will come a report -- a kind of advisory verdict -- from Nils Wahl, one of the court's Advocates General. Wahl was previously a judge at the General Court, but did not hear Intel's initial appeal. That could take two to four months, the spokeswoman said.

After that, the judges will hand down their ruling. That typically takes three to six months from the date of the hearing, but in view of the size of the fine at issue, they may take longer to reach a decision, perhaps even until early next year, she said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?