On Wednesday, the $1.3 billion antitrust fund ruled against Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) about a decade ago was ordered to be revisited which have opened eyes for American technology companies that have complained that antitrust officials in Europe have targeted them unfairly by challenging rulings and investigations against them. This move by the Court of Justice of the European Union could reduce or remove the entire fine against Intel, which was the largest amount at the time in 2009.
The case targeted on claims that Intel had abused their dominant position in the microchip market. In 2009, evidence showed that the company had offered rebates and incentives to computer makers to favor their products over their rival, Advanced Micro Devices. These rebates that were offered to manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, NEC, and others were anti-competitive. Many questions were raised as to whether or not bundling products or services could violate antitrust rules.
The lower court would have to examine on whether or not the rebates are actually restricting competition. The original ruling was not knocked down, but sending the case to lower court was a good decision so that businesses can offer rebates to customers in exchange for exclusivity deals. Exclusivity rebates are now now longer considered in the European Union as anticompetitive.
Intel’s stocks rose 2.2% to $35.76 in early U.S. trading on Wednesday.