The European Commission has re-imposed a fine of just over €376 million on Intel for breaches of EU competition rules.
The new fine arises from a 2022 judgment from the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that annulled a fine of more than €1 billion that the commission had imposed on the chip maker in 2009.
While the court rejected some of the commission’s original findings against Intel, it confirmed that Intel’s so-called ‘naked restrictions’ on computer chips called x86 CPUSs (central processing units) amounted to an abuse of a dominant market position under EU competition rules.
The court concluded, however, that it could not establish the amount of the fine relating only to the naked restrictions.
These restrictions involved payments to three computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing competitors' x86 CPUs, and limiting the sales channels available to these products.
The commission has now adopted a new decision to impose a fine linked only to the naked restrictions.
The EU body says, however, that the decision is without prejudice to its pending appeal against another element of the CJEU’s judgment.
This involved the commission’s finding that Intel paid rebates to computer makers on condition that they bought all, or almost all, of their x86 CPUs from Intel. The court annulled this part of the decision.
“Intel paid its customers to limit, delay or cancel the sale of products containing computer chips of its main rival. This is illegal under our competition rules,” said Didier Reynders (pictured), the commissioner in charge of competition policy.