Intel gets qualified FTC approval for DEC deal

Intel gets qualified FTC approval for DEC deal
Tom Foremski
Intel has received approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on last year’s patent settlement with Digital Equipment under which it acquires Digital’s fab and the rights to manufacture Alpha and StrongARM microprocessors.
However, the FTC has modified the deal, forcing Digital to sign foundry agreements with Advanced Micro Devices and Samsung so that it is not dependent on Intel for its Alpha based systems. And the FTC has not yet issued a ruling in two other investigations of Intel, looking at its business practices and its 3D graphics chip business.
Digital welcomed the FTC approval, saying that it removes a question mark over the future of the Alpha microprocessor, and Alpha based system sales. But the fate of Digital’s foundry may be harmed by a slowdown in the PC industry and by Intel’s recent plans to cut back on fab investments and lay off 3,000 staff.

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