EU: After 5 years, Intel to learn fate of $1.4B antitrust challenge

Five years after computer technology giant Intel was forced to pay a $1.4 billion fine by the European Commission for anticompetitive behavior, the company will learn this week the fate of its appeal with the EU’s General Court.

According to reports, the Commission investigated Intel for eight years to examine the company’s agreements with computer makers. The company was eventually fined for allegedly offering incentives to those computer manufacturers for buying computer chips from Intel and not its rivals.

Its closest rival, Advanced Micro Devices, first lodged a complaint regarding the matter in 2000.

In May 2009, the Commission issued the record-breaking fine to Intel for unfairly squeezing rivals out of the market. But Intel has maintained that it had done no wrongdoing, and said in a statement that “the Commission was mistaken on multiple levels.”

In its appeal, the California-based tech firm argued that the Commission ignored exonerating evidence in order to build a stronger case against Intel.

According to reports, the Commission has not lost a competition case at the EU General Court in the last two decades.”

In a separate case with the US Federal Trade Commission, the Intel settled related charges in 2010 and agreed to not offer incentives to computer manufacturers in exchange for loyalty to purchase computer chips from Intel.

The EU General Court is expected to release its opinion on the appeal Thursday; the case has the potential to be appealed again to the EU Court of Justice.

Full content: Bloomberg

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