US chipmaker Intel has lost its appeal to block a €1.06 billion (around £84.7 million/US$1.4 billion/AUS$1.5 billion) fine imposed by antitrust regulators at the European Commission (EC) for abusing its position in the x86 processor marketplace.
The judgement, which marks the largest fine imposed by the European regulator, found that Intel offered rebates to PC hardware manufacturers Dell, HP, NEC and Lenovo between October 2002 and October 2005 on the condition that they bought the majority of their CPUs for use in their computers from Intel, rather than rival AMD.
Though such rebates can lead to lower prices for consumers, in its ruling, the EC said that Intel's market dominance at the time (which stood at around 70%) impeded rival AMD's ability to compete during that time.
Additionally, it found that the Intel had offered to grant direct payments to computer manufacturers HP, Acer and Lenovo to "halt, delay or limit the launch of specific products" using AMD's processors.
In its statement, the EC said the "significant" judgement "fully justified in pursuing the anti-competitive conduct in question in a major worldwide market".
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