Intel has scored a major legal victory in the EU, overturning a 12 year-old verdict that resulted in a €1 billion fine.
The case stemmed from Intel’s practice of offering rebates to computer manufacturers if they primarily used its chips, rather than rival AMD’s. The EU Commission fined Intel €1 billion for what it perceived as Intel abusing its dominant market position.
According to The Irish Times, the General Court annulled the decision, criticizing the EU Commission’s decision.
“The (European) Commission’s analysis is incomplete and does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or likely to have, anticompetitive effects,” judges said.
Interestingly, the General Court — the EU’s second-highest — had previously upheld the decision in 2014. The EU’s highest court, the EU Court of Justice, told the General Court to reconsider Intel’s appeal in 2017, leading to this latest decision.
It’s unclear what will happen next, with the Commission saying it will consider the decision and what, if any, steps it will take next.