Intel has been no stranger when it comes to being in the crosshairs of the European Union, with the company having been raided by the EU antitrust regulator back in 2008 after allegations that it had put pressure on major stores to avoid stocking computers with AMD processors came to light. This had come seven years after the investigation had first opened regarding business practices and an unsuccessful attempt by Intel in the US Supreme Court to prevent confidential Intel documents from being turned over to the EU.
Now, the Santa Clara-based chip maker has managed to wrangle at least a temporary victory regarding a fine that it had been ordered to pay in 2014 after having lost an appeal in the General Court of the European Union. Unsurprisingly, the chip giant took their case to the European Court of Justice and argued that the General Court had overlooked a number of critical aspects of the European Commission's case, necessitating that its case be reassessed. In response, the ECJ said that:
"The Court refers the case back to the General Court so that it may examine, in the light of the arguments put forward by Intel, whether the [allegedly anti-competitive] rebates at issue are capable of restricting competition."
Intel had been up for the then record fine of €1.06 billion, eclipsed only by the massive €2.42 billion fine slapped on Google earlier this year. Of course, while the General Court goes through the process of re-examining the case, Intel has scored yet another reprieve as far as paying the imposed penalty is concerned, potentially for several more years given the speed at which the case has progressed.
The latest development in proceedings may energize other tech giants that have also found themselves under fire by the European Commission, including Apple, who lodged an appeal against paying €13 billion in back taxes at the end of last year.
Source: The Telegraph (UK)