EU Fines Intel €376.36 Million For Violating Antitrust Laws In The Market For Computer Chips

EU Fines Intel €376.36 Million For Violating Antitrust Laws In The Market For Computer Chips

September 23, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Tech News

The European Commission has reimpose a punishment on Intel for breaking antitrust laws in the market for computer processors, amounting to around €376.36 million.

The EU claims that Intel’s actions regarding its dominating market position in x86 central processing units (CPUs) prevented competitors from entering the relevant market, which is the subject of the penalties.

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The EU first levied a sentence of €1.06 billion in 2009 after determining that Intel had participated in two particular prohibited practices.

The EU claims they were paying manufacturers to stop the introduction of devices featuring x86 CPUs from other businesses (naked limitations) and granting entire or partially disguised rebates to computer makers provided they acquired the majority of their x86 CPUs from Intel (conditional rebates).

The 2009 Commission ruling against Intel’s rebate practices was overturned by the European Court of Justice in 2022.

But the court ruled that, in accordance with EU law, Intel’s blatant restrictive practices constituted an abuse of dominant market position.

In 2022, the court completely overturned the $1.06 billion punishment on the grounds that it was impossible to determine how much the penalty related to the limitations alone.

According to a statement from the EU, Intel did not appeal the portion of the 2022 judgement that affirmed the illegality of these limitations, allowing the EU to impose a smaller punishment of €376.36 million based on those particular violations.

“Intel bribed its clients to restrict, postpone, or stop the sale of goods containing computer processors from its primary competitor. According to our competition laws, this is prohibited, according to Didier Reynders, the EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy.

He said, “Our decision demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to ensuring that extremely serious antitrust violations do not go unpunished.”

An email asking for comment for this article did not immediately receive a response from Intel.


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