Intel: General Court rewinds clock on rebates

By Brian Sher

The European General Court has handed down its judgment in the Intel rebates case. The court dismissed in its entirety Intel’s appeal against a finding from the European Commission in 2009 that it had abused a dominant position in the microchips market through a mixture of rebate schemes, exclusivity and other arrangements principally with its computer hardware customers. The court also upheld the €1.06bn (£853m) fine imposed — the largest ever on a single entity. But the case is of most relevance to business for the highly restrictive approach the court takes to exclusivity and loyalty rebates.

The case concerned two main types of practice: (a) discounts granted by Intel to four major computer manufacturers (Dell, Lenovo, HP and NEC) and to the retailer Media-Saturn on condition that they purchased all or most of their x86 central processing unit microchips (CPUs) from Intel (described as ‘exclusivity’ or ‘loyalty rebates’); and (b) payments that were conditional on restrictions on the distribution by the customer of computers containing the CPUs of Intel’s rival AMD, or on postponing or cancelling the launch of these products (described by the European Commission as ‘naked restrictions’).

Intel was found dominant in the worldwide CPUs market with a market share of 70 per cent or more, high barriers to entry and only one significant competitor in the form of AMD. Both types of practice were found to constitute unlawful abuse and the fine was levied…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Nabarro briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer


Lacon House
84 Theobald's Road

Turnover (£m): 116.70
No. of lawyers: 405