European court upholds $1.44 billion Intel fine

A European court Thursday upheld a $1.44 billion fine against Intel, in one of the last antitrust cases pending against the Santa Clara chipmaker.

The Luxembourg-based General Court backed the fine handed down in 2009 by the European Union, which had concluded Intel had improperly given rebates to personal computer makers to limit chip sales by its rival, Sunnyvale-based Advanced Micro Devices.

“We are disappointed in this outcome,” Intel said in a statement.  “We have said all along that we believe the EC erred in many areas.   After we’ve studied the decision, we will evaluate our options and decide what to do next.”

Because Intel paid the fine in 2009, the  decision Thursday won’t affect its current earnings, according to company spokesman Chuck Mulloy. He said Intel has 70 days to file an appeal with the European Court of Justice.

Intel previously had resolved a slew of antitrust actions by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Japan, South Korea and the state of New York. It also paid AMD $1.25 billion in 2009 to settle  antitrust and patent issues. However, some individual consumer suits over Intel’s marketing practices are pending.

Photo by Paul Sakuma, AP


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