EU court rules Intel to pay $1.4 billion fine for anti-competitive sales practices

By on June 12, 2014, 4:15 PM
amd, intel, european union, eu, competition authority, 1.4 billion, anti-competitive

A court in the European Union has recently ruled to uphold a long standing $1.4 billion fine against Intel based on its anti-competitive practices towards AMD. The case dates back to 2009, where the court initially ruled that Intel was offering illegal rebates and contract restrictions to major tech companies like HP, Lenovo, Dell and others in order to box out AMD. The EU competition authority also accused the chipmaker of paying off retailers to only stock Intel-based machines.

Intel then fought back and appealed the ruling saying the court was unaware or ignored the reality of the chip business. It also said regulators used "profoundly inadequate" evidence in the case. However, the recent ruling says that Intel's actions were indeed all part of a long term goal to shut out AMD from its most strategic sales channels and that the company attempted to "conceal the anti-competitive nature" of its actions. 

The fine is actually 4.15% of Intel's 2008 revenue (which amounts to nearly $1.4 billion), a number the Commission deemed fair considering it could asked for as much as 10%. Intel is certainly not happy with the Commission's decision, but after 6 years of back and forth it is not clear whether or not the chipmaker plans to drag out the legal battle any further. "We are very disappointed about the decision. It's a complex case which is reflected in the decision. We will begin evaluating the decision," Intel's Sophie Jacobs said regarding the decision.

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