In a dramatic blow for EU antitrust regulators, Intel won its appeal against a 1.06 billion euro ($1.2 billion) EU antitrust fine it received 12 years ago for suffocating a competitor.

The ruling in favor of Intel's arguments by Europe's second-highest court is likely to boost Alphabet's Google in its fight against hefty EU antitrust fines, as well as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, which are all under investigation by the EU antitrust enforcer.

In 2009, the European Commission sanctioned Intel for attempting to stifle rival Advanced Micro Devices by providing rebates to computer manufacturers Dell, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, and Lenovo for purchasing the majority of their processors from Intel.

The General Court of Luxembourg, Europe's second-highest court, slammed the EU competition enforcer's findings and overturned the penalties.

"The (European) Commission's analysis is incomplete, and it is impossible to show to the required legal standard that the rebates in question were capable of, or likely to have anticompetitive effects," the judges ruled.

The entire article of the disputed judgment that imposed a fine of 1.06 billion euros on Intel for the breach was overturned by the court.

The Commission stated that it will analyze the decision and consider its options.As Big Tech stocks get slaughtered, Intel rises from the ashes - CNN

The same court had affirmed the Commission's 2009 ruling in 2014, but the EU Court of Justice, Europe's top court, ordered Intel's case to be reexamined in 2017.

Rebates, particularly those granted by dominant corporations, are often disliked by regulators, who believe they are anti-competitive. Companies, on the other hand, argue that regulators must prove rebates have anti-competitive impacts before they may be sanctioned.

According to Assimakis Komninos, a partner at legal firm White & Case, the verdict will make the regulator's job more difficult.

"This is a significant win for Intel. It raises the bar for the Commission when it comes to bringing dominance charges. For each situation, it will have to do an effects-based analysis. This will have an effect on all businesses "he stated

The decision can be challenged at the CJEU.

T-286/09 P Intel Corporation v Commission is the case.