FTC Files Suit Against Intel for Anticompetitive Practices

BY CCIA Staff
December 16, 2009

After investigating allegations of anti-competitive conduct for more than a year, the Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against Intel, accusing the company of using its dominant position in the chip making market to block competitors’ products.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a long-standing advocate for competition in the technology marketplace for more than 35 years. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This suit is a big development and shows this administration and this FTC takes antitrust enforcement seriously. It’s good news for American consumers and companies trying to innovate and compete in the chip market.”

“The FTC lawsuit helps to safeguard consumers and the industry at large. Although we commend Intel for settling its private litigation, it is the FTC who is charged with protecting consumers beyond the scope of the private litigation filed by AMD. We hope that Intel continues on its recent conciliatory path and enters into a larger settlement with the FTC so the industry can more swiftly put this chapter in its history behind it.

“The FTC argues in its complaint that Intel has been engaging in this conduct for a decade, which caused considerable damage to competition. But the good news is this lawsuit comes at a crucial moment for competition among graphics processing units. This extra scrutiny could help preserve competition there, which would mean better, cheaper products for customers and more innovation.”

“Intel is a company with good people and innovative products. It has been hard to understand why it would engage in these practices, rather than compete on the merits of its products.

“The FTC indicates in its complaint that at least two companies, AMD and Nvidia, were out-competing some of Intel’s offerings. It appears Intel was falling behind and tried to trip up their competitors. If so, this is a good example of why competition laws and regulators willing to use them are critical to consumers and the nation’s economy, which needs innovation.

“Innovation and products that make technological leaps forward are crucial to our nation’s economic recovery. The FTC’s actions against Intel’s alleged bullying behavior shows it understands the dangers of overlooking evidence that a company is using its position to discourage competing products from reaching the marketplace.

“The charges leveled in the FTC complaint expand on those already launched by antitrust authorities in Europe, Japan and South Korea. Those countries found Intel guilty of breaking their antitrust laws by offering illegal rebate schemes to block rival chip makers’ products. “

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