Intel scored a victory in court on Wednesday, when it was told it wouldn’t have to pay a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) antitrust fine issued by the EU’s Competition Commission 12 years ago.
The EU handed Intel the fine in 2009, after an investigation concluded that the company had abused its dominant position in the chip industry. Intel has since been appealing to have the fine overturned.
Now the EU’s second highest court, the General Court of the European Union, has sided with Intel on the matter. In its judgment, the court said that the “analysis carried out by the Commission is incomplete and, in any event, does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or were likely to have, anticompetitive effects.” It therefore decided to annul the fine.
The decision will likely come as a blow to the Competition Commission, which over the past few years has handed out a number of large fines to US tech companies, many of which are also being appealed in European courts. The Commission can appeal the ruling, but hasn’t yet said whether it will. “The Commission will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps,” said a spokeswoman in statement.
Intel didn’t respond to a request for comment.