Intel wants 593 million euros in interest from the EU because of destroyed billions of fine

Intel wants 593 million euros from the European Commission, because of the unjustified fine of 1.06 billion euros imposed on the company in 2009. Intel sees the amount as lost interest. The company already got the original amount and part of the interest back earlier this year.

The European Commission fined Intel in 2009 for allegedly harming AMD in the x86 processor segment. Intel, according to the Commission, gave discounts to companies such as Dell, Lenovo and HP if they bought a large part of their x86 processors from Intel. The American chipmaker also paid MediaMarkt and Saturn if they would only sell computers with Intel x86 processors.

As a result of these agreements, competitors such as AMD were significantly less able to compete with Intel, the European Commission said. That is why Intel was imposed a competition fine of 1.06 billion euros. Intel appealed this ruling several times, after which the European Court of Justice decided earlier this year that the fine had indeed been wrongly imposed. For example, the Commission had not looked enough at Intel’s counter-arguments and results at one party were extrapolated to a longer period, without the EU sufficiently substantiating this.

Intel therefore received a refund of the amount of 1.06 billion euros earlier this year. In such competition cases, however, injured parties are entitled to interest if it later transpires that the fine was unjustified. Intel asked the European Commission for interest, which the Commission refused, writes Reuters† That is why Intel has filed a claim of EUR 593 million with the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Intel would have based this amount on the interest rate charged by the European Central Bank, i.e. from 1.25 percent in May 2009 to 3.5 percent since August 2009. Actually, the total interest amount should be 631 million euros, Intel says, but the Commission has already paid 38 million euros in interest earlier this year.