Intel has announced the departure of its general counsel, Bruce Sewell, in the middle of its global antitrust defense effort. Today, it was announced that Sewell will be taking over the general counsel’s role at Apple.
With Korea, Japan and Europe finding Intel guilty of antitrust violations and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission poised to act, the departure of Intel’s head legal strategist at this time is confounding. Furthermore, Sewell’s departure comes just a few months before Intel’s U.S. civil trial—a massive undertaking that has been in pretrial proceedings for the better part of the last decade—is scheduled to begin.
Intel’s confrontational and controversial legal approach involving a series of appeals and denials of wrongdoing in the face of mounting evidence has raised many questions from industry and legal experts.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association is a long-time advocate of policies that promote competition and innovation. The following comments can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“This opening at the top of Intel’s legal team is an opportunity for an innovative company to reexamine what it has been doing and reboot its legal and business strategy. Anti-competitive practices should cease, and on the legal front confrontation should be replaced with reconciliation. Intel is a company with a great history and product line. It is time to put its past mistakes behind it and get back to competing vigorously, but legally, and on the merits of its products.
“Intel has been a tremendously important company in our industry. But recently, it has repeatedly been found to have engaged in illegal anti-competitive conduct. Clearly its business practices have crossed the line and its legal strategy has not been working well. This is an opportunity to press reset, comply with legal decisions and move past a major distraction—both for the company and the industry.”