FTC and Intel settle antitrust action
Tuesday 09 March 1999
The settlement came a day before the FTC was to start the formal hearing of complaints that Intel had used its near-monopoly position in the computer chip market to the detriment of would-be competitors.
No details were given, but both sides expressed satisfaction with the terms. The FTC filed a motion to withdraw the antitrust case and a formal decision, endorsed by the four-member commission, is expected by week- end.
The FTC charged that Intel had "coerced major established customers into granting access to their technology on terms favourable to Intel" and withheld details of its own technology that would have enabled them to compete. The action was a response to complaints by three companies - Intergraph, Compaq and Digital Equipment Corp - that Intel was soliciting confidential information with the aim of using it to improve its own products.
The principle of the case was similar to Microsoft's, which resumes in the Washington court next month, but there were key differences. The Microsoft case was brought by the Justice Department and is going through the judicial system, while that against Intel was brought by FTC and was to be heard by an FTC judge, leaving open the possibility of an appeal in open court.
The response of the two companies - which between them command more than 80 per cent of the world's computer market - was also different. Intel acknowledged the practices complained of, but defended them as part and parcel of free competition. Microsoft executives have denied the restrictive practices of which it has been accused, but found themselves frequently wrong-footed in the courtroom by their own e-mails and internal office communications.
The settlement, assuming it is approved by the FTC, was deemed to suit both parties. The FTC, according to lawyers in Washington, had no certainty of winning. Intel could see the legal complications and ill-feeling generated by the Microsoft case and feared a protracted case that could affect its already declining market share.
Intel said yesterday: "Intel is pleased with the agreement and we believe it provides adequate value for our intellectual property," but declined to comment further.
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 4 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
- 5 Kate Moss on the naked Calvin Klein shoot and the obsession that ended her relationship
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
Archaeologists discover 2,400-year-old gold bongs in Russia
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after British tourists complain of 'awkward' holidays
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...