Court confirms Intel’s record-breaking €1.06 billion fine

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In a ruling, the European Union’s General Court rejected Intel’s appeal of a €1.06 billion ($1.44 billion) penalty for antitrust violations. Instead, the EU General Court upheld the record-breaking penalty against the US computer chip giant, which had been issued in 2009 by the EU Commission.

Intel had been seeking annulment of the large penalty for what the EU Commission previously ruled to have been the company's antitrust infringement actions. But the General Court determined that Intel, the predominant player in the computer microchip market -- holding a market share of roughly 70 percent or more -- had acted anticompetitively in attempting to squeeze out AMD, its main rival, between 2002 and 2007.

Specifically, the Court explained that Intel paid bribes to a large German retail chain called Media-Saturn, so that it only stocked computers with Intel chips, rather than those using AMD’s microprocessors. This, the Court argued, constituted clear antitrust abuse. “The General Court finds that those payments were capable of making access to the mark more difficult for AMD,” and that Intel strategically chose this approach to achieve such an effect.

Court confirms Intel’s record-breaking €1.06 billion fine Antitrust: Commission welcomes General Court judgment upholding its decision against Intel (European Commission)