Brussels — Intel has lost its appeal in a case finding anti-competitive abuse five years ago. The European Commission found the company had abused its dominant market position and issued its largest antitrust fine ever — 1.06 billion Euros ($1.44 billion US dollars) for offering rebates to customers on the condition they buy all x86 CPUs from Intel.
The General Court dismissed Intel’s appeal this week and ordered it to follow the conditions the Commission imposed.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a competition advocate for more than 40 years and considers the original ruling by competition authorities and the court the best outcome for industry and consumers. Ahead of the 2009 ruling CCIA closely followed the EU investigation, and sees this decision as once again validating the careful work of EU regulators.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“European antitrust authorities have been consistently vigilant over the years in investigating potential antitrust abuses and applying rules that both promote a competitive marketplace that benefit consumers. Their leadership in the Intel competition case helped pave the way for better competition in this sector.
“Today’s decision was the right call and we are grateful to both European competition regulators and the courts for their careful review. Intel has historically been a strong, innovative company and we hope that innovation not intimidation and exclusionary tactics will be at the center of their business practices going forward.
“This case demonstrates the importance of having thorough and vigilant competition enforcement agencies and legal officials to ensure consumers have choices and meaningful competition. In light of recent efforts to increasingly politicize competition issues on both sides of the Atlantic, this case is significant. It is a reminder that fact-based decisions built upon solid legal principles can be both effective in promoting competition and enhance the credibility of the legal system.”
The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President James Waterworth, who runs CCIA’s Brussels office:
“We applaud the Court of Justice’s decision to uphold the Commission’s original findings against Intel, which included 400 pages of detailed evidence documenting numerous violations of European competition law. This sends a clear message that Europe is serious about promoting competition, protecting consumers and encouraging innovation.”