Intel faces a formal investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission after fighting similar antitrust probes in Europe
and Asia, the company said on Friday.
AMD has long accused Intel of abusing its dominance of the $280
billion chip market; it filed suit against Intel in 2005.
Intel's microprocessors power more than 80 percent of the
Intel said the company already has given the FTC hundreds of
thousands of documents in the agency's two-year-old informal
probe and will continue to cooperate.
"By proceeding to a subpoena, the Commission will be able to
obtain not only information that Intel has already committed to
provide but also information from other parties. Consistent
with its standard practice Intel will work cooperatively with
the FTC staff to comply with the subpoena and continue
providing information," Intel said in a statement..
"The company believes its business practices are well within
U.S. law. The evidence that this industry is fiercely
competitive and working is compelling. For example, prices for
microprocessors declined by 42.4 percent from 2000 to end of
2007. When competitors perform and execute the market rewards
them. When they falter and under-perform the market responds
accordingly," Intel added.
The FTC investigation is a second blow this week for Intel. On
Thursday, the Korea Fair Trade Commission in Seoul ruled
that Intel had abused its
dominant position in the local market and imposed a fine of
$25.6 million. Intel said it would almost certainly appeal.
The company also faces other investigations.
The New York state attorney general opened a formal probe
of Intel in
January to determine whether it broke state antitrust laws by
trying to squeeze out AMD. And one year ago, the European
Commission in Brussels charged Intel with selling chips below
cost and offering customers huge rebates in an illegal attempt
to drive AMD out of the market.
Japan's trade commission concluded in 2005 that Intel had
violated that country's anti-monopoly act. Intel said it
disagreed with the findings but accepted the commission's
recommendation, a move that allowed it to avoid a trial.
In a previous FTC investigation of Intel, the two reached a
settlement in 1999.
In addition to the various government investigations, AMD's
lawsuit accuses Intel of giving computer makers illegal
discounts and retaliating against manufacturers who used AMD
chips, or stores that gave significant shelf space to computers
with AMD chips. On Thursday, the court in Delaware hearing the
a trial until 2010.