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Intel gets support in fight against EC fine

There has been a fresh twist in the seven year saga between Intel and the EC over its billion Euro fine for abusing market dominance

If you cast your mind back to 2009 one of the memorable headlines from that year concerned the EC handing Intel a €1.06bn fine for abusing market dominance.

The fine was accompanied by an order from the EC that Intel had to stop giving illegal rebates to PC manufacturers and other practices that were designed to underline its arch rival AMD.

Apart from Intel, its lawyers and those in the EC involved in the case the majority of people might have forgotten about the case, but it has come to the fore again with reports that an EU court adviser has backed the chip maker’s appeal against the fine.

The fine, which remains the largest ever given to a single company by the EU for antitrust infringement, is naturally something that Intel has been fighting to have reduced.

According to Reuters, the firm has some sympathy from Advocate General Nils Wahl at the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Whale is quoted as saying that Intel’s appeal should be upheld, which gives a fresh twist to a seven year old saga.

The case came to life in 2009, when Intel was found to have abused its dominant position in the chip market for five years, from late 2002 to the end of 2007 and to have used its market leading position to muscle out AMD.

At the time resellers have evidence as part of the investigation and various companies claimed that the anti-competitive behaviour contributed to them going out of business.

The case first came to light when AMD filed a complaint in 2000 that alleged that manufacturers had been paid not to use its chips.

Up until the Intel fine the highest penalty handed out by the EC was to Microsoft for €474m in 2004 for abusing its dominant market position.​

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