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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Intel Accused of Antitrust Breach


Intel has been accused by South Korean regulators of breaking antitrust law and risks being fined as much as 3 percent of its annual sales.

Inspectors at South Korea's Fair Trade Commission completed their probe of Intel and sent the allegations to the company, said Kim Sung Man, head of the regulator's antitrust monitoring team.

"The results are about suspicions over Intel's abuse of its dominant market power in Korea," he said in an interview today, according to Bloomberg. Intel said it had acted lawfully and that the so-called statement of objections was a preliminary stage.

The charges come seven weeks after the European Commission, the European Union's antitrust authority, said Intel broke antitrust laws by giving illegal rebates to customers to wrest sales away from rival AMD. In 2005, Intel allayed Japanese antitrust regulators' concerns by agreeing to remove clauses that restricted makers from using other companies' semiconductors.

Kim said the nine-member commission will rule on the case within 30 days of receiving a response from Intel.

The Korean probe began in February 2006 when inspectors raided Intel offices. At the time, AMD said the South Korean raids concerned Intel's dealings with four personal computer makers in the country.


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