On Friday, Intel was slapped with a $400 million fine by the European Union (EU) after it was found guilty of breaking antitrust laws. The US chipmaker had previously been accused of trying to block rival companies from the market and was handed a record-breaking fine of 1.06 billion euros in 2009.
The Luxembourg-based General Court then overturned the ruling last year, yet agreed with the EU Competition watchdog that Intel had blocked competitors, prompting the recent re-imposition of the fine. The offending actions are said to have taken place between November 2002 and December 2006.
Reuters, citing the European Commission’s statement, reports that Intel had also paid HP, Acer, and Lenovo to delay or refrain from using products from rival companies. In a statement, the Commission said:
“The General Court confirmed that Intel’s naked restrictions amounted to an abuse of dominant market position under EU competition rules.
In response to the decision, Intel said they were looking into their options:
“We are analyzing the decision and the amount of the fine to determine the possible grounds and prospects of success of an appeal to the European Courts.”
A recent attempt by Intel to gain the Commission’s approval for a near-€10billion chipmaking facility in Germany is still pending. An appeal to the European Court of Justice against the parts of the General Court’s ruling last year related to the conditional rebates offered by Intel is also underway.
It will be interesting to see what the fate of Intel will be after the outcome of the appeal, and whether or not the Commission will allow the chipmaker’s ambitions to grow in Europe.