The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Intel Corp. for abusing its market position to build a monopoly and repress competition. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The administrative complaint says Intel used exclusive and restrictive deals with the world’s largest computer manufacturers, including Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and IBM Corp., to coerce them not to buy rival computer central-processing-unit chips. Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., also used this practice to prevent computer makers from marketing machines with non-Intel computer chips, the FTC says.
The commission also alleges that Intel secretly redesigned key software, known as a compiler, that deliberately stunted the performance of competitors’ CPU chips. The FTC also accuses Intel of trying to restrict competition in graphics-processing-unit chips, such as those made by Nvidia Corp. Nvidia, also based in Santa Clara, applauded the FTC’s action. The complaint doesn’t seek monetary damages.
Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC’s bureau of competition called Intel’s actions “exclusionary and detrimental to consumers.” He said at a news conference that he expects the case to go before an administrative law judge in September and concluded by the end of next year.
The FTC said it is seeking an order that would prevent Intel from using threats, bundled prices, or other offers to encourage exclusive deals, hamper competition, or unfairly manipulate the prices of its CPU or GPU chips.
In a statement released today, Intel said that the FTC had not investigated the charges, some of which were added last minute.
The FTC charges come months after the EU went after Intel.