Intel wins appeal against $1.2 bln EU fine

Intel has won its appeal against a $1.2 billion EU fine.

The penalty was first handed down 12 years ago.

Back then Brussels said Intel was guilty of using its power to stifle rivals.

It said the chipmaker gave rebates to PC firms like Dell and Lenovo to stop them buying chips from rival AMD.

Regulators generally don't like rebates, especially when used by dominant firms, fearing they may be anti-competitive.

But on Wednesday (January 26) the EU's second-highest judicial body annulled the decision to fine Intel.

The Luxembourg-based General Court said the penalty was based on incomplete analysis.

It said Brussels failed to prove that the rebates were or could become anticompetitive.

That's a big setback for the bloc's competition watchdogs, though they can still appeal.

It will also be encouraging for Google, which is fighting a trio of hefty EU fines.

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