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FTC may see Intel-NVIDIA dispute as anti-competitive

updated 08:50 am EST, Fri December 4, 2009

FTC concerned Intel hampering NV's chipsets

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the countering Intel and NVIDIA lawsuits to determine whether Intel is violating antitrust laws, a leak maintained late Thursday. Sources said the US agency is concerned that Intel's original lawsuit was meant to stifle legitimate competition in system chipsets rather than guarding against a license violation. The investigation would be part of the larger antitrust hunt that had originally targeted AMD before its private settlement.

While none of the parties involved in the NVIDIA case have agreed to comment, AMD's legal affairs executive VP Thomas McCoy told Bloomberg that his company was still being asked for information beyond the scope of its original complaints, even after it had dropped its formal legal challenges. The information requested remains unknown.

NVIDIA has hit back aggressively at Intel for its lawsuit, which would prevent the GeForce designer from selling any chipsets that support Intel processors with an integrated memory controller. The move, allegedly based on conditions of the license, would virtually forbid NVIDIA from developing a GeForce 9400M successor for any of Intel's 2010 processors as nearly all of them move the memory controller to the processor itself. NVIDIA's own lawsuit has insisted Intel is breaching a valid contract and that it only wants to block a company that offers a faster, better alternative to Intel's chipsets.

by MacNN Staff



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