Lawyers for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Intel Corp. on Monday filed a joint motion to suspend administrative trial proceedings while the parties consider potential settlement of the case originally filed by the FTC on December 16, 2009. Back then FTC accused Intel of illegal business practices.
The motion opens a window through July 22, 2010, during which time the parties will review and discuss a proposed consent order. The terms of the proposed consent order are confidential and Intel will make no additional public comment on the matter at this time.
Back in December the FTC issued a list of requirements for Intel Corp. in case it wins the case about the chip giant in court. While the vast majority of remedies touch upon business processes, there were also proposals to simplify licensing of x86 instruction set as well as Intel-compatible chipsets. The list of proposals by FTC contains several rather intriguing remedies that directly advice Intel how it should enable third parties to compete against itself in the light of the current and future market realities.
Potentially, if the court found Intel guilty of violation of antitrust laws and uncompetitive behavior, the FTC would have forced Intel to extend the existing cross-license agreements with companies like Nvidia Corp., Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. or Via Technologies and allow those three chipset makers to make and sell core-logic sets compatible with Intel processors. However, if FTC and Intel settle the dispute out-of-court, it is proposals of the former will hardly be enforced completely.