Intel has lost a challenge in court today against the European Commission’s original judgement against them that found them guilty of breaching anti-trust laws and fined them $1.4 billion. This finding was originally handed down in 2009 after a long investigation and ruling process, even though the behavior happened well before 2009. In fact, Intel’s challenging of this ruling has pushed back the $1.4 billion fine nearly 5 years, which may have been part of Intel’s original strategy.
They can, however, further delay the process by taking the European Commission’s ruling and the denial of a challenge to the Court of Justice of the European Union which is the highest court in all of Europe on such matters. However, there is a possibility that the Court of Justice may not even hear their case as all previous courts have agreed with another on the gravity of the fine and the guiltiness of the party involved, Intel.
The $1.4 billion fine was based upon the EU watchdog’s calculation of 4.15 percent of Intel’s 2008 turnover, as opposed to the 10% maximum that the EU is allowed to fine. And considering the behavior that Intel participated in during those years, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone involved that they got fined $1.4 billion for their behavior. That year Intel posted $5.2 billion in profits on $37.5 billion in revenue, a $1.4 billion fine seems more than reasonable in terms of gravity of the deed and their overall size and profitability. In fact, Intel should be thankful it was calculated based on 2008 numbers, because if it were calculated based on 2013 revenue they would be going off $52 billion in revenue, which would make the 4.15 percent figure a whopping $2.1 billion, an increase of more than 50 percent.
Either way, there’s no doubt that based on our experiences with Intel over these past 5 years, they greatly regret their actions and are forced to behave in certain ways as a result of it. In fact, Intel is still walking on egg shells as a result of their behavior more than 5 years ago. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re without their faults or that they couldn’t do something like this again. Intel should be thankful that they got off with what they did and pay the fine and move on, because when things like this come up again from the past, it simply doesn’t reflect well upon Intel. They need to pay the fine and make it go away, because the current Intel doesn’t reflect the Intel of the past and they need to make sure these ugly things don’t rear their heads again.