Intel Corp., the world’s largest
computer chipmaker, cannot use threats or bundled prices to block customers
from buying competitors’ products under a settlement of antitrust charges, the
U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.
The settlement covers graphics and
central processors, the FTC said.
The FTC sued in December, accusing
Santa Clara, California- based Intel of illegally using its dominance for a
decade to block customers from buying competitors’ products. The agency said
Intel forced computer makers into exclusive deals and blocked rivals from
making their chips work with Intel’s.
An Intel official said in a
statement that the chipmaker has not admitted any violation of the law or
accepted the facts alleged by the complaint.
“This agreement provides a
framework that will allow us to continue to compete and to provide our
customers the best possible products and the best price,” said Doug Melamed,
Intel’s general counsel.
It “enables us to put an end to the
expense and distraction of the FTC litigation.”
Intel accounts for more than 80 per
cent of global computer- chip sales, dwarfing Advanced Micro Devices Inc., its
closest competitor. Intel agreed to pay AMD $1.25 billion in November to settle
a lawsuit by the Sunnyvale, California-based company.
In May 2009, Intel was fined $1.45
billion at the time, by the European Union. In addition to the penalty, a
record amount for the EU, Intel was ordered to stop using illegal rebates to