Intel has had a record fine of 1.06 billion euros ($1.44 billion) was upheld in the highest-ever antitrust penalty imposed by the EU on any company.
The fine was levied five years ago on Intel, the largest computer chip maker in the world after the EU court found the company had abused its position through the offering of rebates to companies using Intel’s chip
“Intel’s action against the Commission’s decision is dismissed in its entirety,” said the General Court of the European Union, the blocs second-highest court, in a summary of its ruling, said the New York Times.
The court said it “considers that none of the arguments raised by Intel supports the conclusion that the fine imposed is disproportionate.”
Intel still can appeal the case to Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.
E.U. officials said they were emboldened by the ruling.
“This is of course a significant judgment,” Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the commission, said at a news conference. “It confirms that the commission was fully justified in pursuing the anticompetitive conduct in question in a major worldwide market.” The commission “will continue to vigorously pursue abuses of dominant positions,” he added.
Intel had been appealing a decision where it was found to have offered illegal rebates to computer makers that used fewer or no chips made by its main competitor, Advanced Micro Devices.
The commission, which had been investigating Intel since 2000 after a complaint by A.M.D., issued two sets of formal charges in 2007 and 2008.
Intel has repeatedly said it had done nothing wrong and that its rebates and discounts were legal and a commonly used way of rewarding companies for purchasing its products in large quantities.