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Intel and FTC in talks to settle antitrust case

June 22, 2010 | 12:25 pm

Intel Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission are in talks to settle an antitrust lawsuit in which the Santa Clara-based company has been accused of strong-arming clients into buying its computer chips.

According to a statement by Intel, the company has until July 22 to “review and discuss a proposed” settlement. Intel said it could not comment because the terms of the proposed consent order were confidential.

If the two parties do not reach an agreement by July 22, the case could go before an administrative law judge in September. If the judge rules against Intel, the company could face large monetary damages and be ordered to compensate its competitors.

The FTC filed charges against Intel last December. At the time, Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC's bureau of competition said in a statement that Intel had “engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits."

Last November, Intel paid $1.25 billion to Advanced Micro Devices to settle antitrust claims.

[Update 1:45 p.m.: ] An earlier edition of the post said Intel could face large monetary damages and be ordered to compensate its competitors. The FTC is not seeking monetary damages in this case. The company could be forced to change the way it prices its products and could be ordered to share intellectual property with competitors.

-- W.J. Hennigan

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