Sunday, May 22, 2022

Intel scores major win against $1.2 bln EU antitrust fine

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In a dramatic blow for EU antitrust regulators, Intel won its appeal against a 1.06 billion euro ($1.2 billion) EU antitrust fine it received 12 years ago for suffocating a competitor.

The ruling in favor of Intel’s arguments by Europe’s second-highest court is likely to boost Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google in its fight against heavy EU antitrust fines, as well as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, who are all in the EU antitrust enforcer’s crosshairs.

In 2009, the European Commission sanctioned Intel for attempting to stifle rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) by providing rebates to computer manufacturers Dell (DI.UL), Hewlett-Packard Co, NEC (6701.T), and Lenovo (0992. HK) for purchasing the majority of their chips from Intel.

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The General Court of Luxembourg, Europe’s second-highest court, slammed the EU competition enforcer’s findings and overturned the penalties.

“The (European) Commission’s analysis is incomplete and does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or likely to have anticompetitive effects,” judges said.

The entire article of the disputed judgment that imposed a fine of 1.06 billion euros on Intel for the breach was overturned by the court.

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The Commission stated that it will analyze the decision and consider its options.

The same court had affirmed the Commission’s 2009 ruling in 2014, but the EU Court of Justice, Europe’s top court, ordered Intel’s case to be reexamined in 2017.

Rebates, particularly those granted by dominant corporations, are often disliked by regulators, who believe they are anti-competitive. Companies, on the other hand, argue that regulators must prove rebates have anti-competitive impacts before they may be sanctioned.

According to Assimakis Komninos, a partner at legal firm White & Case, the verdict will make the regulator’s job more difficult.

“This is a huge victory for Intel. It sets the bar higher for the Commission in bringing dominance cases. It will have to do an effects-based analysis for each case. This will have an impact on all companies,” he said.

also read:

A new Accuracy Milestone attained in the field of Silicon-based Quantum Computing

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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