Intel stays under Federal limelight

Intel stays under Federal limelight
Tom Foremski Intel could still face further anti-trust charges from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) despite a proposed settlement that postponed the scheduled trial. According to a source close to the FTC, the US agency is investigating other aspects of Intel’s business. These include its chipset and motherboard businesses and its pricing policy for chips. The FTC is concerned about Intel using its dominant position to corner chipset markets for its high-end processors and also that it may be using its chip pricing to punish certain customers who buy from competitors. The FTC investigations could result in new anti-trust charges against Intel, providing it with a stronger case against the world’s No.1 chip maker. “It is possible that the FTC may file new charges, but I don’t think it will,” said senior analyst Dean McCarron at Mercury Research. “I think that the FTC is satisfied with the proposed settlement which will give it some leverage against some of Intel’s business practices.” Last week Intel and the FTC announced a last minute proposed settlement before a planned three-month trial of Intel on anti-trust charges. The details of the settlement still await FTC approval and have not been made public. Sources close to the FTC claim Intel agreed to address a chief complaint made by the FTC that Intel withdraws key information on future microprocessors from companies with which it is engaged in legal disputes.


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