EU court orders Intel antitrust fine to be re-examined
8 September, 2017
The highest court in the EU has ordered a €1.06bn ($1.4bn) antitrust fine against Intel to be re-examined, heralding a victory for other technology companies currently facing similar investigations. In 2009, the European Commission found that Intel had "harmed" its rivals by giving incentives to computer makers Dell, Lenovo and HP for using its microprocessor chips instead of those from rival AMD. Intel appealed, but the fine was upheld in 2014.
Now, the ruling from the Court Justice of the EU will see the case sent back to a lower court, with the ECJ claiming the original court had not properly considered the "efficient competitor test", a technical assessment of how Intel's activity affected a rival's ability to compete against it. The verdict means Intel has escaped the original fine for now, although the case could drag on for many more years. The initial penalty, which represented around 4.15% of Intel's 2008 revenues, was record-breaking at the time, but has recently been overtaken by a €2.4bn ($2.7bn) penalty against Google in June.