FTC extends antitrust settlement talks with Intel

Jul 21, 2010 By JOELLE TESSLER , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Federal regulators will take at least two more weeks to work out details of a proposed agreement with Intel Corp. to settle charges that the giant chipmaker violated antitrust laws.

The said late Wednesday that it needs more time to consider and negotiate the proposed settlement, which was first announced last month.

The FTC brought against Intel late last year, accusing it of using illegal sales tactics to preserve its dominant share of the market for . The agency alleges that the company strong-armed computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulated technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel's. That behavior has crippled rivals and kept prices for computer chips artificially high, the FTC says.

The case, which is before an administrative law judge at the agency, has been on hold for a month while the two sides have tried to hammer out an agreement. That suspension had been set to end at midnight on Thursday, but will now run through midnight on Aug. 5.

"Our discussions with the FTC are continuing," Intel said in a statement. "The discussions are confidential so we won't comment on the specifics."

Neither side has disclosed any details of the proposed agreement.

Late last year, Intel settled a long-running legal battle with rival Inc., which had also brought its concerns to the attention of the FTC and helped lay the groundwork for the federal government's case.

But Intel still faces an antitrust lawsuit brought last year by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The company is also appealing fines brought by regulators in Europe and Korea.

Shares of the Santa Clara, Calif., company slipped $1.80, or 0.4 percent, to $21.26 Wednesday.

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