Big fines are not a rare occurrence in the world of computing technology, and neither are questionable sales tactics. Microsoft tangled in this web in the 90s, and Intel, more recently.
AMD leveled some accusations against the chip giant back in 2008 that Intel had offered improper rebates to PC makers like Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo. Part of the reason why most laptops and notebooks since then were powered by Intel processors.
Part of the reason, not all of it — performance numbers also had a say there.
Anyway, Intel was been found to have outright paid these companies to delay AMD based products. These essentially crippled AMD when it came to selling its processors.
Which back then were not all that far behind Intel in terms of performance.
And while the European Union ruled in favor of AMD, and ordered a $1.4 billion fine in 2009, now the second highest court in the region has also upheld this decision.
In terms of numbers, this fine represents just 4.15% of Intel’s total revenue for 2008, which is a pretty mild punishment in the grand scheme of things. The EU court could have scaled it up to 10%. But anyway, AMD will no doubt be somewhat satisfied.
Not that this will change the landscape of the PC industry in any major way.
But every little bit helps.