Remember Intel’s 2009 anti-monopoly fine?
Me neither - it was never paid off
The saga surrounding the multi-billion euro fine imposed by the European Union on Intel in 2009 for antitrust violations is not yet over. That fine was annulled in 2022, but the EU is now imposing a fine of 376 million euros on Intel.
In 2009, the European Commission imposed a fine of 1.06 billion euros on Intel for antitrust violations. The chip manufacturer provided discounts to computer makers like Dell, Lenovo, HP, and NEC between 2002 and 2007. In return, they had to promise not to do business with AMD, Intel’s biggest competitor.
Subsequently, Intel attempted to evade the penalty through legal actions. It succeeded in 2022 when the General Court, a part of the Court of Justice of the European Union, discarded the fine.
The judges found that the analysis conducted by the European Commission in 2009 was incomplete. Additionally, the Commission did not demonstrate that the controversial discounts could have anti-competitive consequences.
Nonetheless, the European Commission maintains that Intel engaged in antitrust practices. Therefore, the Commission is now imposing a new fine of 376 million euros.
The new fine is lower than the original 2009 fine because the Commission is now penalizing only the violations of strict competition rules. For instance, one such strict EU rule is that companies are not allowed to engage in price-fixing agreements.
The EU has appealed the 2022 General Court’s decision. According to the Commission, the new fine is unrelated to the ongoing appeal.
In 2022, Intel, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the European Commission. The company is seeking over half a billion euros in interest compensation for the paid fine of 1.06 billion euros.