Intel’s fight against a €1.06 billion ($1.2 billion) antitrust fine from the European Union (EU) got a boost Thursday when a top court advisor in Europe pointed out errors in the EU regulators’ economic analysis.
The dispute started in 2009 when the European Commission penalized Intel for attempting to impede a competitor, Advanced Micro Devices, by giving rebates to Dell, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, and Lenovo for favoring Intel’s chips. The Intel decision is one in a series of increasing antitrust actions in Europe targeting technology companies.
Regulators usually challenge rebates from leading companies due to their potential to restrict competition. However, companies have argued that authorities should demonstrate how these discounts are anti-competitive before imposing sanctions. In 2022, a subordinate court overturned the fine, prompting the EU competition commissioner to seek a review from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg.