European Commission Slaps Intel with €376.36 Million Fine for Unfair Chip Market Tactics


September 22, 2023 by our News Team

The European Commission has fined Intel €376.36 million for abusing its dominant position in the x86 CPUs market by engaging in anticompetitive practices such as giving hidden rebates and paying computer manufacturers to delay or cancel the launch of products containing competitors' CPUs.

  • The European Commission has re-imposed a fine of approximately €376.36 million on Intel for its abuse of dominant position in the x86 central processing units (CPUs) market.
  • Intel engaged in anticompetitive practices aimed at excluding competitors from the market.
  • Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 54 of the European Economic Area Agreement prohibit the abuse of dominant position.


The European Commission has once again fined Intel approximately €376.36 million for its abuse of dominant position in the x86 central processing units (CPUs) market. This decision comes after the Commission’s previous fine of €1.06 billion in 2009, which was partially annulled by the General Court in 2022.

The Commission found that Intel engaged in anticompetitive practices aimed at excluding competitors from the market. These practices included giving hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on the condition that they bought most, if not all, of their x86 CPUs from Intel. Additionally, Intel paid computer manufacturers to delay or cancel the launch of products containing competitors’ CPUs and limit the sales channels for these products.

While the General Court annulled the fine related to conditional rebates, it confirmed that Intel’s naked restrictions constituted an abuse of dominant market position under EU competition rules. Naked restrictions refer to payments made by Intel to three computer manufacturers (HP, Acer, and Lenovo) to halt or delay the launch of products containing competitors’ CPUs and restrict their sales channels.

As a result, the Commission has re-imposed a fine of approximately €376.36 million on Intel specifically for the naked restrictions. This fine is lower than the previous one due to the narrower scope of the infringement.

It’s important to note that this decision is separate from the Commission’s pending appeal against the General Court’s annulment of its 2009 finding regarding Intel’s conditional rebates.

Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 54 of the European Economic Area Agreement prohibit the abuse of dominant position. The Commission initiated proceedings against Intel in 2007 and imposed a fine of €1.06 billion in 2009.

The legal battle between Intel and the Commission has been ongoing since then. The General Court initially dismissed Intel’s appeal in 2014 but was later overturned by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2017. The General Court ruled again in 2022, annulling the part of the Commission’s decision related to conditional rebates but confirming the unlawfulness of Intel’s naked restrictions. The Commission has appealed this judgment to the Court of Justice.

For more information on this case, interested parties can refer to the Commission’s competition website under the case number AT.37990 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. A Q&A on this case is also available, along with a Competition Weekly News Summary that provides updates on antitrust and cartel news.

European Commission Slaps Intel with €376.36 Million Fine for Unfair Chip Market Tactics

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Background Information


About Acer: Acer is a globally recognized technology brand known for its extensive range of products, including laptops, desktops, monitors, and electronic devices. With a focus on innovation and affordability, Acer caters to diverse consumer needs, providing reliable and high-performance solutions. From gaming enthusiasts to professionals, Acer's products span various segments, making it a significant player in the technology industry.

Acer website  Acer LinkedIn

About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

Intel website  Intel LinkedIn

About Lenovo: Lenovo, formerly known as "Legend Holdings," is a important global technology company that offers an extensive portfolio of computers, smartphones, servers, and electronic devices. Notably, Lenovo acquired IBM's personal computer division, including the ThinkPad line of laptops, in 2005. With a strong presence in laptops and PCs, Lenovo's products cater to a wide range of consumer and business needs. Committed to innovation and quality, Lenovo delivers reliable and high-performance solutions, making it a significant player in the tech industry.

Lenovo website  Lenovo LinkedIn



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