ECJ offers hope to Intel as it appeals against record EU fine

Intel was ruled to have abused its market dominance in 2009...

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Intel's attempts to avoid a €1.06bn antitrust fine issued by the EU have been bolstered as the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Nils Wahl has said that the decision should be subject to a judicial review.

Mr Wahl's statement is non-binding - he said that the appeal should be reviewed by a lower court.

The ECJ will decide in the coming months whether Mr Wahl's views will be backed by the court - in 80% of cases the final ruling follows the opinion of the Advocate General.

The European Commission issued the record fine to the firm in 2009 after it ruled that it had abused its position as the leader in the computer chip industry between 2002 and 2007.

Intel was accused of paying rebates to PC manufacturers to choose its chips over rival companies. The official stated today that he did not believe that rebates had harmed competition and that the manufacturers could have purchased parts from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel's leading rival.

He also said complaints about a "procedural irregularity" when an interview with a Dell executive was not recorded were not properly accounted for during previous appeals.

Intel appealed to the General Court of the ECJ in 2014 - it decided that the ruling should be upheld. The company then appealed against the General Court finding to the ECJ.