Over the last few years, Intel has had a massive €1.06 billion fine looming over its head after the European Commission ruled that the company had violated antitrust laws. At the time, Intel was offering rebates to OEMs to retain the upper-hand over AMD in the market. Intel has been appealing this fine for years and now the European Court of Justice has ordered that the case be revisited in a lower court.
The EU’s top court, the ECJ has sent the Intel antitrust case back to a lower court for a fresh review. This is after Intel’s previous appeal attempts failed, with an EU court upholding the fine as recently as 2014.
The ruling to send the case back to EU General Court says that previously, not all of Intel’s arguments were taken into account when making the final ruling. This means the earlier judgement is seen “as a result of that failure”.
The ruling ends by saying: “The Court refers the case back to the General Court so that it may examine, in the light of the arguments put forward by Intel, whether the rebates at issue are capable of restricting competition.”
KitGuru Says: It seems the EU’s top court has decided that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that Intel’s rebates were restricting competition. The case will now go back to court, giving Intel another chance to either reduce the fine, or get out of it entirely.