Business

Intel loses court challenge against record $1.4 billion EU fine

Intel's Devils Canyon

Above: Intel's Devils Canyon

Image Credit: Intel

Intel lost its challenge today against the European Union’s 2009 decision to fine the company a record $1.44 billion for trying to take down rival chipmaker AMD, Reuters reports. The fine is for a record setting $1.44 billion dollars.

According to the court’s decision, Intel offered rebates to PC makers DellHewlett-Packard, NEC, and Lenovo for buying its chips over competitors. Intel also paid a German retail chain (Media Saturn Holding) to only stock Intel chip computers.

Europe’s second highest court upheld the European Commission’s original decision, because it found the fine fit the crime- especially since the punishment could have been much worse. Judges said the Commission’s fine was fairly middle of the road. Intel suffered a fine equal to 4.15 percent of its 2008 turnover, but the maximum fine can be as much as 10 percent.

Intel spokeswoman Sophie Jacobs says the company is very disappointed with the decision. Intel still has an opportunity to take the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, but only on points of law. The company has yet to make a decision.

The court’s judgement suggests that settling antitrust charges, rather than fighting them, may be a better route. Some companies like Samsung and Google are following that cue.


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