Intel FTC settlement financially painless

Intel Corp has struck
a preliminary settlement with federal antitrust enforcers that will give the
world’s top chipmaker less leeway in marketing its products, but spare it
monetary pain.

Intel reached a deal with the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission that will not cost it any money, but will require it
to extend changes demanded under its November settlement with Advanced Micro Devices
to graphics chips, according to a source close to the agency.

The deal will also regulate Intel’s
use of volume discounts for both central processing unit and graphics chips,
the source said, speaking anonymously because the deal has not been finalized.

Intel has been under attack from
rival chipmakers for years for its aggressive pricing and sales tactics. It
makes 80 per cent of the world’s CPUs, the brains of personal computers.

While FTC lawyers reached a
preliminary settlement with Intel, the five-member commission continues to
discuss it. Friday is the target date for a final decision, although that date
could be pushed back or, as with any deal, it could fall apart altogether.

“Discussions are ongoing, and
we have nothing more to add at this point,” said Intel spokesman Chuck
Mulloy. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

The FTC had no comment for this