After a number of appeals over the years thereafter, the case is now in the hands of Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). A lower court upheld the decision of the EU's competition authority but last year an ECJ court adviser took Intel's side.
The EU's top court is expected to make a final decision about the appeal on Wednesday. If the ECJ picks Intel's side, the decision could have profound implications for ongoing cases, including the 2.4 billion EUR fine that was levied on Google earlier this year:
An adverse ruling for the Commission on Wednesday could result in a radical review of ongoing cases, said Andrew Ward, a partner at Madrid-based law firm Cuatrecasas.Reuters reports a ruling that goes against the European Commission would be a rare departure for the ECJ. Last year, Intel got a boost of confidence as ECJ court adviser Nils Wahl questioned whether the chip giant's actions really hurt competition. Reuters reports the ECJ follows such recommendations in four out of five cases, so this could get pretty interesting.
“A loss in such a high-profile case would be embarrassing (for the regulator),” he said, adding that it might mean that long-established theories and processes would need to be reassessed.
“Losing against Intel would clearly be a blow to the Commission and a confidence boost for Google, since on the face of it the theory of harm is much more established in the Intel case.”