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Thursday, June 12, 2014
European Court Upholds Record Fine Imposed On Intel

Intel lost on Thursday its challenge against a record 1.06-billion-euro ($1.44 billion) fine handed down by European Union antitrust regulators in 2009 for blocking rival AMD.

By decision of 13 May 2009 the European Commission imposed a fine of €1.06 billion on Intel for having abused
its dominant position on the market for x86 central processing units (CPUs) in infringement of the competition rules of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA).

According to the Commission, Intel abused its dominant position on the worldwide market for x86 CPUs from October 2002 to October 2007, by implementing a strategy aimed at foreclosing from the market its only serious competitor, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). The Commission said Intel was giving rebates to PC makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard Co , NEC and Lenovo for buying most of their computer chips from Intel. The authority said Intel also paid German retail chain Media Saturn Holding to stock only computers with its chips.

Judges at the Luxembourg-based General Court backed the Commission's decision.

"The Commission demonstrated to the requisite legal standard that Intel attempted to conceal the anti-competitive nature of its practices and implemented a long term comprehensive strategy to foreclose AMD from the strategically most important sales channels," the court said.

"The General Court considers that none of the arguments raised by Intel supports the conclusion that the fine imposed is disproportionate. On the contrary, it must be considered that fine is appropriate in the light of the facts of the case," judges said. Intel can take its case further to the Court of Justice of the European Union but only on points of law.

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