By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s top court will rule on Sept. 6 whether to uphold Intel’s appeal against a 1.06-billion-euro ($1.2 billion) EU antitrust fine, a case with ramifications for Google’s challenge against a record sanction handed out this week.
The European Commission penalized U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009 because it tried to squeeze out rival Advanced Micro Devices by giving rebates to PC makers Dell [DI.UL], Hewlett-Packard Co, NEC and Lenovo for buying most of their computer chips from Intel.
The fine was a record for an individual company for an antitrust violation and was only eclipsed this week by Google’s 2.4-billion-euro penalty. Intel challenged the it in court.
Judges at the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) will announce their verdict on Sept. 6, a court spokeswoman said, ending a saga that has stretched back more than a decade.
Intel won backing from ECJ court adviser Nils Wahl last year who doubted if the company’s actions had really harmed competition. The top court follows such non-binding recommendations in four out of five cases.
In 2014, a lower court however backed the Commission.
Google, penalized on Tuesday by the EU competition authority for unfairly promoting its shopping service at the expense of rivals, will be keenly watching the verdict for pointers on how to fight its legal battle. It is expected to appeal the EU fine.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)