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FTC Sues Intel for Anticompetitive Practices

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Hardware
Legal

U.S. regulatory authorities today filed a lawsuit against Intel, alleging a 10-year history of monopolistic behavior that saw the world's largest chipmaker use its dominant market power to crowd out cheaper, potentially superior alternatives.

The Federal Trade Commission complaint details a pattern of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) using a system of threats and rewards to strike exclusive agreements with leading U.S. PC makers like Dell, HP and IBM to include its hardware in their systems.

The agency is seeking an order that would bar Intel from practices deemed anticompetitive and monopolistic, but is not asking for any monetary damages.

"There would be no possible monetary sanctions with respect to the FTC action," Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's competition bureau, told reporters this morning. "We are really more focused on addressing the conduct."

Specifically, the FTC will ask a judge for an order that would curb threats, bundled pricing and other paths to strike exclusive deals or manipulate pricing.

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Intel to FTC: We Didn't Do Anything Wrong

tomshardware.com: Earlier today, word came out that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched a suit against Intel over the company's alleged anticompetitive practices. Despite its recent settlement with AMD, Intel maintains that it competes fairly and lawfully.

Intel Corporation issued the following statement regarding the suit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

"Intel has competed fairly and lawfully. Its actions have benefitted consumers. The highly competitive microprocessor industry, of which Intel is a key part, has kept innovation robust and prices declining at a faster rate than any other industry. The FTC's case is misguided. It is based largely on claims that the FTC added at the last minute and has not investigated. In addition, it is explicitly not based on existing law but is instead intended to make new rules for regulating business conduct. These new rules would harm consumers by reducing innovation and raising prices."

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