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Intel, FTC asking for more time to reach settlement

updated 09:45 pm EDT, Wed July 21, 2010

Intel, FTC said to need more time in settlement

The anti-trust settlement between Intel and the FTC may not be completed in time, says a Wednesday report [reg. required]. The deal was expected to be completed this week, with midnight on Thursday the deadline. WSJ sources claim the two sides are not ready to reveal the terms of the settlement, and are expected to file a request to an administrative judge to extend the talks.

"Discussions with the FTC are ongoing," said an Intel spokesman, while the FTC didn't comment. It is not clear what a settlement would involve, as the FTC doesn't have the authority to impose financial penalties.

Intel has been accused of unfair tactics in order to slow sales of rival AMD's products in favor of its own. It was fined $1.45 billion by the European Union in 2009, and is appealing it. In November, it paid $1.25 billion to AMD in a private antitrust suit and agreed to modify its business practices.

In December, the FTC alleged that Intel used illegal tactics that included sales contracts to discourage computer makers from using chips made by AMD. The FTC also said Intel acted improperly to hamper sales of graphics chips made by NVIDIA. Some believe any Intel settlement with the FTC will not be to NVIDIA's satisfaction, as Intel's interpretation of a chipset license makes it impossible for NVIDIA to build chipsets for modern Intel processors.

In order for Intel to avoid a trial before an FTC administrative judge, the FTC's five commissioners need to sign off on a settlement. It's believed keen to do so in order to keep its negotiations with the likes of IBM, HP, and Dell private.

by MacNN Staff



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