Intel hit by US$400m fine as clash with EU rumbles on

Intel Corp. was slapped with a fresh €376.36 million ($400 million) fine by European Union antitrust regulators after an EU court had wiped out a one-time record €1.06 billion penalty against the chipmaker.

The European Commission on Friday said it reimposed the smaller fine for “a previously established abuse of dominant position in the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units” after it found that Intel had “engaged in a series of anticompetitive practices aimed at excluding competitors from the relevant market in breach of EU antitrust rules.”

Intel already flagged earlier this year that the commission “reopened its administrative procedure to determine a fine against Intel based on” allegedly abusive conduct that had previously been established.

The company looked like it had won a historic victory in a ruling in 2022 that upended one of the EU’s most important antitrust cases. The EU General Court ruled that regulators made key errors in their 2009 decision over allegedly illegal rebates that Intel gave to PC makers to squeeze out rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Still, the EU court “confirmed that Intel’s naked restrictions amounted to an abuse of dominant market position under EU competition rules,” the commission said in its statement on Friday. That’s why the commission now adopted “a new decision imposing a fine on Intel only for the naked restrictions.” –BLOOMBERG