In­tel wins court back­ing to fight €1bn EU an­titrust fine

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Donal O’Dono­van

IN­TEL has kept its decade-long scrap with Euro­pean Union com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties alive af­ter Europe’s top judges told a lower court to re-ex­am­ine the case.

It boosts In­tel’s hopes of over­turn­ing a €1.06bn fine and will also buoy the hopes of other US tech firms in­clud­ing Ap­ple, that have been in sights of the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion, now headed by Mar­grethe Vestager.

Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice (ECJ) judges said the lower court, known as the Gen­eral Court, should fo­cus on In­tel’s ar­gu­ments that re­bates to cus­tomers were not anti-com­pet­i­tive.

The rul­ing may force the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to re-ex­am­ine its tough line and eco­nomic ap­proach in other an­titrust cases such as against Qual­comm and Al­pha­bet unit Google.

The Gen­eral Court in its 2014 rul­ing up­held the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s 2009 de­ci­sion but last year a court ad­viser rec­om­mended back­ing In­tel’s ar­gu­ments.

“The Court of Jus­tice sets aside the judg­ment of the Gen­eral Court, which had up­held the fine of €1.06bn im­posed on In­tel by the Com­mis­sion for abuse of a dom­i­nant po­si­tion,” the Lux­em­bourg-based Court of Jus­tice (ECJ) said.

“The case is re­ferred back to the Gen­eral Court in or­der for it to ex­am­ine the ar­gu­ments put for­ward by In­tel con­cern­ing the ca­pac­ity of the re­bates at is­sue to re­strict com­pe­ti­tion,” the ECJ said.

The Com­mis­sion slapped In­tel with a then record fine in 2009 fol­low­ing a probe launched in 2007, rea­son­ing that In­tel had tried to block ri­val Ad­vanced Mi­cro De­vices by giv­ing re­bates to PC-mak­ers Dell, Hewlett-Packard, NEC and Len­ovo for buy­ing most of their com­puter chips from In­tel. (Ad­di­tional re­port­ing Reuters)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.