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Intel's €1.06 billion antitrust fine to be revisited in European Union court

06 September 2017

The European Commission (EC) slapped Intel with the fine in 2009 after ruling that the company had abused its dominance in the processor market by offering rebates to PC makers that used its chips instead of those made by competitors.

In a victory for Intel's lawyers, the EU's top court today ordered a retrial of the chipmaker's appeal against a €1.06 billion antitrust fine, ruling that a lower court should have delved further into the European Commission accusations.

This is after Intel's previous appeal attempts failed, with an European Union court upholding the fine as recently as 2014. The tech company then brought an appeal against the General Court's judgment before the Court of Justice.

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday sent the case back to the lower General Court so it can examine more arguments from Intel.

KitGuru Says: It seems the EU's top court has decided that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove that Intel's rebates were restricting competition.

Google's case has more similarities than Apple's, but U.S. tech multinationals have long complained that fines are politically motivated, and will be cheered by a decision in Intel's favour.

Wednesday's ruling had been eagerly awaited for its implications on the powers of the antitrust office of the EU. The firm also a year ago received a boost after a top European judge said that the case should be reviewed.

"It is a very important judgement and will take some time to go through every detail of what the judges tell us", Vestager said in an interview with AFP ahead of the decision.

Intel's €1.06 billion antitrust fine to be revisited in European Union court