Intel wins appeal against $1.2 billion European anti trust suittext_fields
Chip manufacturer Intel have won an appeal against a suit filed by European anti-trust regulator, the European Commission, which sought to penalise the company for allegedly stifling competition in the market 13 years ago. The suit was valued at £1.06 billion or approximately $1.2 billion.
The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, criticised the EU competition enforcer's analysis and annulled the fine. The General Court was where Intel's appeal was filed and it has described the suit as being based on "incomplete" analysis that did not establish sufficient "legal regard" to impose punitive action on the manufacturer.
13 years ago the European Commission had accused Intel of stifling their competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in the market by providing rebates to other tech companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP) to buy Intel chips.
" The (European) Commission's analysis is incomplete and does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or likely to have, anticompetitive effects," judges said.
The court annulled in its entirety the article of the contested decision which imposed on Intel a fine of 1.06 billion euros in respect of the infringement found. The same court had in 2014 upheld the Commission's 2009 decision but was subsequently told by the EU Court of Justice, Europe's highest, in 2017 to re-examine Intel's appeal, Reuters reported.
Rebates are a controversial subject in European markets as many regulators feel that dominant companies may abuse their positions in the market to use them and stifle competition whereas companies argue that the burden is on regulators to prove the rebates are anti-competition in nature.
Tech giant Google is also facing several hefty lawsuits filed by European regulators which accuse it of similar practises in respect to advertising practises.
The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Google favoured its own online display advertising technology services (ad-tech) to the detriment of other providers, a statement published in June 2021 reads. The European Commission fined Google a record-breaking €2.42 billion for promoting its own shopping services at the detriment of fair competition to other providers, which it described as "an illegal advantage".