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Intel loses court challenge against $1.44 billion EU fine

شعار Reuters Reuters 12/06/2014 By Foo Yun Chee
An employee walks past an Intel logo during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014. © REUTERS-Pichi Chuang An employee walks past an Intel logo during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014.

By Foo Yun Chee

Judges at the Luxembourg-based General Court backed the Commission's decision.

"The Commission demonstrated to the requisite legal standard that Intel attempted to conceal the anti-competitive nature of its practices and implemented a long term comprehensive strategy to foreclose AMD from the strategically most important sales channels," the court said.

Judges said the EU watchdog had not been heavy-handed with the level of the fine, equal to 4.15 percent of Intel's 2008 turnover, versus a possible maximum of 10 percent. While Commission penalties rarely hit the top figure, the rising level of fines is a source of worry for many companies.

"The General Court considers that none of the arguments raised by Intel supports the conclusion that the fine imposed is disproportionate. On the contrary, it must be considered that fine is appropriate in the light of the facts of the case," judges said. Intel can take its case further to the Court of Justice of the European Union but only on points of law. The case is T-286/09, Intel vs Commission.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott)

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