Intel wins review of European Union competition fine

Francis Osborne
September 8, 2017

At the time, the Commission also said that Intel had paid three computer manufacturers to delay, cancel or restrict the launch or distribution of computers containing CPUs made by AMD.

On remand, the General Court must consider Intel's argument about whether the rebates were capable of restricting competition. That could make it harder for the commission when it seeks to lodge another such antitrust case.

The ruling raises the bar for regulators when it comes to proving wrongdoing, said Rein Wesseling, a partner at law firm Stibbe.

The Commission said Intel had given rebates to four major computer manufacturers - Dell, Lenovo, HP and NEC - on the condition that they purchased from Intel all, or nearly all, of their x86 CPUs.

This isn't just good news for Intel, as the ECJ's ruling could force the EC to re-examine its tough line approach in other antitrust cases, such as those against Qualcomm and Google. It said the General Court was wrong not to examine its arguments to this effect when assessing its appeal.

Warner, Handscomb tame Tigers in Chittagong
In contrast, Nathan Lyon , who ended with 7 for 94, chose to take the off and middle stump line and got his deliveries to skid. But with this innings, Warner will definitely be pleased as he managed to improve upon his indifferent sub-continental record.

The EU's top court yesterday ordered a lower court to reconsider its rejection of an appeal by U.S. chip giant Intel against one of the EU's biggest-ever fines for breaking competition rules.

"The court therefore sets aside the judgment as a result of that failure in its analysis", it said...

"The court of justice confirms exclusivity rebates as abusive by nature but if a defendant argues, with supporting evidence, that its condcut could not restriuct competition from equally efficient rivals, the commission has to rebut that", said Maurits Dolmans of law firm Cleary Gottlieb, which counts Google as a client, speaking to the FT.

The ruling offers hope for Intel and other technology firms battling European Union regulations, although it does not guarantee the fine will be overturned. "While this case concerns events that happened more than a decade ago, we have always believed that our actions were lawful and did not harm competition". The EC takes that view that Intel had tried to block rival chipmaker AMD by giving rebates to PC makers for buying most of their computer chips from Intel. In its ruling, the court decided this case was such that the AEC test should in fact be properly evaluated by the General Court, and deferred the case back.

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