Court fines $ 1.2 billion for EU antitrust violations, Intel wins big

Intel won a € 1.06 billion ($ 1.2 billion) EU antitrust fine that was passed 12 years ago for US chipmakers’ oppression of rivals on Wednesday.

A European Second Supreme Court ruling in support of Intel’s allegations puts Alphabet unit Google in a heavy EU antitrust fine and in the fight against Apple, Amazon and Facebook at the crossroads of EU antitrust enforcers. There is a possibility to support.

In 2009, the European Commission gave Intel a rebate to block rival Advanced Micro Devices by giving rebates to computer makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co., NEC and Lenovo, which purchased most of the chips from Intel. I have been penalized.

A general court based in Luxembourg, the second highest in Europe, criticized the analysis of EU competitors and nullified the fines.

“The (European) Commission’s analysis is incomplete and cannot establish the necessary legal standards that rebates on the subject may or may have anti-competitive effects. “The judge said.

The court has revoked the entire clause of the disputed decision, which fined Intel € 1.06 billion for infringement.

The Commission said it would consider the judgment and consider possible next steps.

The same court upheld the European Commission’s 2009 decision in 2014, but was subsequently ordered by the European Court of Justice, the EU Court of Justice, to reconsider Inter’s appeal in 2017.

Regulators generally do not like the rebates offered by the dominant companies, especially because of concerns that they may be anti-competitive. However, companies say regulators must prove that rebates have anti-competitive effects before they are sanctioned.

The ruling will complicate the regulatory mandate, said Assimakis Komninos, a partner at law firm White & Case.

“This is a big win for Intel. It sets the committee’s standards for filing control cases higher. We need to do an effect-based analysis on a case-by-case basis. This affects all companies. Will give. “

The judgment can be appealed to the CJEU.

The case is T-286 / 09 P Intel Corporation vCommission.

($ 1 = 0.8861 euros)