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Intel Fears Another EU Antitrust Fine Despite Winning A Court Fight Last Year

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Intel could face yet another EU antitrust fine despite winning its court fight last year against an EUR 1.06 billion (nearly Rs. 14,250 crore) penalty imposed 14 years ago for hindering a rival, the US chipmaker said in a regulatory filing.

Intel last year convinced Europe’s second-top court to scrap the fine handed out by the European Commission in 2009 for giving rebates to four computer makers to buy most of their chips from the company and not from rival Advanced Micro Devices.

“The General Court’s January 2022 decision did not annul the EC’s 2009 finding that Intel made payments to prevent sales of specific rival products, and in January 2023 the EC reopened its administrative procedure to determine a fine against Intel based on that alleged conduct,” the company said in a January 26 filing.

“Given the procedural posture and the nature of this proceeding, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses, if any, that might arise from this matter,” it said.

Companies risk fines up to 10 percent of their global turnover for EU antitrust breaches.

Recently, Intel announced broad cuts to employee and executive pay after posting a lower-than-expected sales forecast driven by a loss of market share to rivals and a PC market downturn. The base pay of mid-level employees will be cut by 5 percent, whereas Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger will take a 25 percent salary cut. However, the company mentioned that there will be no salary cut on the company’s hourly workforce’s pay, said a person familiar with the matter who was not authorised to speak publicly.

Intel spokesperson Addy Burr said in a statement that the “changes are designed to impact our executive population more significantly and will help support the investments and overall workforce.”

© Thomson Reuters 2023

 


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