European Commission to appeal for billions of Intel fine for disadvantages AMD

The European Commission is appealing the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which earlier this year annulled Intel’s multi-billion dollar fine. The EC imposed this fine in 2009 because Intel allegedly abused its power in the x86 CPU market.

The European Commission fined Intel for taking advantage of an unfair advantage over competitor AMD. Intel would offer computer manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo, HP and NEC discounts on its processors if they used few or no AMD processors in their systems. Intel would also have paid MediaMarktSaturn in exchange for a sales freeze on systems with AMD processors.

The Commission found that this hindered competition, thereby limiting consumer choice and inhibiting innovation in the market. The amount was set at 1.06 billion euros, which, adjusted for inflation, is almost 1.3 billion euros today. That was a record amount at the time. The sum corresponded to 4.5 percent of the company’s worldwide turnover in 2008. Intel’s net profit in that year totaled 3.9 billion euros.

Intel has resisted it since the fine was imposed. An appeal was rejected by the European Court of Justice in 2014, but Intel appealed again in 2016. The result of this was a judgment from January this year: part of the decision from 2009 is null and void and Intel does not have to pay the fine. The court found that the European Commission’s analysis was incomplete and that it did not sufficiently show that Intel’s rebates were restricting competition in an illegal way.

The European Commission confirmed last Friday opposite The Register that she will appeal the decision. The EC will not comment further and Intel was not immediately available to respond to The Register.