Intel Settles Legal Dispute with Federal Trade Commission[08/04/2010 12:35 PM]
Intel Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday settled their dispute over Intel's business practices. Intel agreed not to stifle competitors by providing bundled prices or force its clients to stop working with other. The company will also have to install PCIe controllers into its processors, the chip giant will not pay a dollar in fine and will still be able not to license its technologies to all the possible third parties.
The FTC settlement applies to central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs) and chipsets and prohibits Intel from using threats, bundled prices, or other offers to exclude or hamper competition or otherwise unreasonably inhibit the sale of competitive CPUs or GPUs. The settlement also prohibits Intel from deceiving computer manufacturers about the performance of non-Intel CPUs or GPUs.
Under the settlement, Intel will be prohibited from:
In addition, the FTC settlement order will require Intel to:
The FTC sued Intel in December 2009 alleging that the company used anticompetitive tactics to cut off rivals’ access to the marketplace and deprive consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise computers’ central processing unit. The action also challenged Intel’s conduct in markets for graphics processing units and other chips. The FTC settlement goes beyond those reached in previous antitrust cases against Intel in a number of ways.
“By accepting this settlement, we open the door to competition today and address Intel’s anticompetitive conduct in a way that may not have been available in a final judgment years from now. Everyone, including Intel, gets a greater degree of certainty about the rules of the road going forward, which allows all the companies in this dynamic industry to move ahead and build better, more innovative products," said Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the FTC.
The settlement agreement expressly states that Intel does not admit either any violation of law or that the facts alleged in the complaint are true. The agreement approved today by the Commission is subject to a 30 day public comment period and final approval by the Commission.
"This agreement provides a framework that will allow us to continue to compete and to provide our customers the best possible products at the best prices. The settlement enables us to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC litigation," said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel.
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