LUXEMBOURG -- A top European Union court rejected Thursday an appeal by U.S. computer chip giant Intel (IW 500/26) against the bloc's biggest-ever single company fine of 1.06 billion euros for abusing its dominant market position.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, fined Intel in 2009 after it said the company had offered clients price rebates to use its x86 computer chips in preference to rival AMD.
Intel had a 70% market share for the X86 chips used by most major makers of PCs such as Dell (IW 500/24), Lenovo (IW 1000/134), Hewlett-Packard (IW 500/9) and NEC (IW 1000/126), who all got price rebates.
In its ruling, the General Court, which sits below the European Court of Justice, said, "Intel's action against the commission's decision is dismissed in its entirety."
Intel's rebates, coming from a company with such a dominant position, "were capable of restricting competition and foreclosing competitors from the market," the court said.
The court said it could not find any grounds for disagreeing with the commission, and that the commission had "demonstrated to the requisite legal standard that Intel attempted to conceal the anti-competitive nature of its practices."
Intel had also appealed against the fine on the grounds it was disproportionate, but the court said none of the arguments raised supported that conclusion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014