Intel, FTC in talks to settle antitrust case

Jun 22, 2010 By JOEL SCHECTMAN , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Intel Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission are in talks to settle an antitrust case against the chip maker, a move that could make it more difficult for rival chip makers to pursue damages.

In December, the FTC filed charges against Intel, seeking to end what it described as decades of illegal sales tactics that have hampered competitors and kept prices for artificially high.

This week, the FTC and Intel agreed to suspend administrative trial proceedings as they work on hashing out a settlement.

A settlement would be at least a partial victory for Intel, said Robert Lande, director of the American Antitrust Institute at the University of Baltimore. If Intel loses in court, rival chip makers such as Nvidia Corp. would be able to pursue damages without having to again prove the . By contrast, settlements often come without any admission of wrongdoing.

"Once you've lost the case in federal court you can't deny the charges anymore," Lande said. "The only question is, `Did you hurt our clients and by how much.'"

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a rival whose lobbying of regulators led to their charges, has quoted a manager from Toshiba Corp. comparing Intel's payments for not using AMD's chips to "cocaine." In its 2005 lawsuit, AMD also quoted an executive from Gateway complaining that Intel's threats of retaliation for working with AMD beat them "into guacamole."

AMD settled the lawsuit with Intel last year, with Intel agreeing to pay AMD $1.25 billion and the companies entering into new, five-year cross-licensing deal.

But the FTC later filed its own complaint. It has said it seeks to change Intel's behavior instead of fines, as the European Union and South Korea have imposed. Last year, Intel paid a record $1.45 billion fine to European regulators but the company is appealing.

The two sides have 30 days to reach an agreement. If not, the case will continue and go to trial before an administrative law judge in September.

The New York Attorney General's office is also investigating Intel.

The FTC's lawsuit contains the most wide-ranging allegations yet against Intel, the world's largest chip maker. If the FTC wins, the case will have a broad impact because it affects two key markets dominated by Intel - central processing units used in personal computers and graphics chips.

The FTC accused Intel of strong-arming computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulating technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors and blocking rivals from making its chips work with Intel's.

Intel, which disclosed the settlement talks late Monday, has disputed the charges and said it's merely been offering discounts.

Shares of , based in Santa Clara, Calif., rose 4 cents to $21.23 in midday trading Tuesday.

Explore further: Ticketfly buying WillCall for on-premise data

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Intel hit with more antitrust charges in FTC suit

Dec 16, 2009

(AP) -- The Federal Trade Commission piled on new antitrust charges against Intel Corp. on Wednesday, seeking to end what it described as a decade of illegal sales tactics that have crippled rivals and kept ...

Intel settles AMD claims but isn't off the hook

Nov 12, 2009

(AP) -- Intel Corp. is paying Silicon Valley rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. $1.25 billion to squash a legal battle over Intel's sales tactics, a rift that led to antitrust charges against Intel in several ...

NY files antitrust suit against Intel (Update)

Nov 04, 2009

(AP) -- New York's attorney general hit Intel Corp. with an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday, claiming the company used "illegal threats and collusion" to dominate the market for computer microprocessors.

FTC expands Intel anti-competition probe, sources say

Dec 04, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission has broadened its investigation of Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker Intel beyond the company's competition with Advanced Micro Devices to include at least one other Silicon Valley company, Nvidia, ...

Intel: $1.4B EU monopoly fine based on mistakes

Sep 15, 2009

(AP) -- Intel Corp. is claiming in court documents that European Union regulators made serious mistakes in levying a record euro1.06 billion ($1.45 billion) fine for monopoly abuse last May.

Recommended for you

Ticketfly buying WillCall for on-premise data

19 hours ago

Ticketfly Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company among several posing a challenge to Ticketmaster, is acquiring WillCall Inc., a crosstown rival that turns your smartphone into a mobile wallet at live events.

HP revenue inches up after years of decline

Aug 20, 2014

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported that its quarterly revenue rose for the first time in three years, nudged by improved computer sales everywhere except Russia and China.

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

Aug 20, 2014

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

Chip maker Infineon to buy California firm for $3B (Update)

Aug 20, 2014

German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG says it has agreed to pay $3 billion in cash for California-based semiconductor firm International Rectifier, which produces power-management components used in everything from cars ...

User comments : 0