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Intel faces antitrust probe in New York

Posted: 14 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:antitrust probe? anti-competitive case? processor?

Intel Corp. has received a subpoena from the New York Attorney General's office Jan. 10 seeking documents as part of a new investigation alleging anti-competitive business practices. The action is the latest of several moves around the globe probing Intel's dominance in PC processors.

"We did get the subpoena, but our business practices are lawful," said Chuck Malloy, a spokesman for Intel. "We believe the microprocessor market is competitive and behaving as a competitive market is expected to behave," he said.

The investigation concerns "Intel's pricing practices and possible attempt to exclude competitors through its market domination," according to a statement from the New York Attorney General's office.

Specifically, investigators are examining whether Intel "penalized its customers, primarily computer manufacturers, for purchasing x86 CPUs from competitors; improperly paid customers for exclusivity [and] illegally cut off competitors from distribution channels," the statement said.

The Attorney General's office did not respond to requests for more information by press time.

Old news
"The press release cites allegations that mirror those in a private case underway in U.S. District Court in Delaware and in that case we have denied the allegations," Malloy said, referring to a case filed by archrival Advanced Micro Devices in 2005.

Intel signed a court decree with the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) that concluded in 2005 Intel violated its competition laws. The JFTC alleged Intel offered discounts to computer makers who limited or declined any purchases of CPUs from competitors, primarily AMD.

"We essentially signed a court decree in Japan saying we will not do what we said we were not doing anyway," Malloy said. Following the resolution, AMD has filed two private suits against Intel in AMD.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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