The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday that a 2009 antitrust case should be sent back to the lower court, known as the General Court, in order to re-examine the €1.06 billion fine placed on Intel in the matter. The EU General Court (EGC) previously found in 2014 that Intel had violated EU competition law by using rebates to suppress computers using rival company AMD’s chips in the European market. Intel has since referred to the fine as “manifestly disproportionate.”
The ECJ determined that the EGC must now re-examine how much such rebates hindered competition from AMD. The ruling may force the European Commission to re-examine its tough line and economic approach in other antitrust cases such as against Qualcomm and Alphabet unit Google.
“The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court, which had upheld the fine of €1.06bn imposed on Intel by the Commission for abuse of a dominant position,” the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice (ECJ) said.
“The case is referred back to the General Court in order for it to examine the arguments put forward by Intel concerning the capacity of the rebates at issue to restrict competition,” the ECJ said.
Such antitrust litigation in 2017 has also been filed against Facebook, Apple, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Google and its parent company, Alphabet.