A top European Court reaffirmed on Thursday a fine of 1.06 billion euros ($1.44 billion) the European Commission slapped five years ago on Intel, the largest manufacturer of computer chips in the world.
The fine was imposed after the EC accused the American firm of abusing its might in the computer processor market by extending rebates to computer manufacturers who incorporated its chips more than those of competitors.
The fine was the highest single that the Brussels-based anti-trust authorities have imposed on a single firm.
“Intel’s action against the Commission’s decision is dismissed in its entirety,” a summary of the ruling by the General Court of the European Union stated.
The ruling added that the court “considers that none of the arguments raised by Intel supports the conclusion that the fine imposed is disproportionate,” as quoted by the New York Times.
Intel has the option of appealing to the European Court of Justice, Europe’s top judicial organ.
EU officials welcomed the ruling.
Intel had been challenging a ruling that found it to have illegally given rebates to computer manufacturers that used fewer or no microprocessors made by its main rival Advanced Micro Devices.
The commission, which had been probing the American chip maker since 2000 after AMD filed a complaint, filed two separate formal charges in 2007 and 2008.
According to Reuters, Intel spokeswoman said the company was disappointed with the ruling. She said the company would begin scrutinizing the determination.
Consumer’s advocacy group BEUC also welcomed the ruling, saying that when dominant firms abused their position in the market, consumers ended up being harmed. BEUC director-general Monique Goyens said that the court’s decision send a strong message the practice was illegal and unacceptable.
Samsung settled out of court with the EU in the recent past while Google has reached an agreement with condition.
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To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at email@example.com