22 September 2023

EU hits Intel with £327.3 million antitrust fine in computer chip case

22 September 2023

European Union antitrust enforcers have slapped Intel with a fresh 376.4 million euro (£327.3 million) fine in a long-running legal fight which the chipmaker appeared to have won last year.

The European Commission imposed the fine after a court threw out an original 1.06 billion euro (£920 million) penalty issued in 2009 over allegations the company used illegal sales tactics to shut out smaller rival AMD.

The commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust watchdog, accused Intel of abusing its dominant position in the global market for x86 microprocessors with a strategy to exclude rivals by using rebates and sales restrictions.

The EU’s General Court last year annulled the original decision, saying the commission’s analysis of the rebates did not meet legal standards.

However, the court confirmed the sales restrictions amounted to an abuse of Intel’s dominant market position.

It could not decide how the total fine could be divided up between the two offences, leaving the commission to come up with a new number.

“The lower fine imposed by today’s decision reflects the narrower scope of the infringement compared to the 2009 Commission decision,” the EU watchdog said on Friday.

Intel’s European press team did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

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