FTC investigators are still looking at Intel's business practices, this time relating to the chip maker's ongoing lawsuit with Nvidia, according to a published report. This comes less than a month after Intel and AMD settled their long-standing legal dispute that results in a $1.25 billion Intel payment to AMD.
Intel maybe have settled its legal disputes
with rival Advanced Micro Devices, but the giant chip maker apparently is still being investigated by federal regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission reportedly is reviewing Intel's legal
wrangling with graphics chip maker Nvidia, which like AMD is claiming
anticompetitive behavior by Intel.
Quoting unnamed sources, Bloomberg
is saying that investigators are taking a look at the lawsuits Intel
and Nvidia filed against each other earlier this year, and in
particular whether the lawsuit filed by Intel is an attempt to hurt
Intel, which paid AMD $1.25 billion as part of the Nov. 12
settlement, reportedly has met with the FTC investigators over the past
few weeks in hopes of getting the agency to call off the investigation
in light of the AMD settlement, according to the sources.
Intel this year has been hammered over allegations of
anticompetitive behavior centering around AMD. The European Commission
in May fined Intel $1.45 billion for using rebates and price discounts
to convince OEMs to limit their use of AMD processors in their PCs and
servers. Intel is appealing the fine.
In addition, the N.Y. State Attorney General's office filed suit
4 against Intel alleging that the chip maker used payments and coercion
to influence the extent Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others used AMD
products. Intel officials have harshly criticized the lawsuit, calling
it biased and a waste of time and money, considering many of the issues
raised already were being taken care of in the private lawsuits with
The trial in the AMD case was set for March 2010 before the
settlement was reached. In the agreement, Intel not only paid AMD the
money but also promised to not engage in anticompetitive practices.
In the case with Nvidia, Intel in February filed suit in Delaware
questioning whether Nvidia had the right to develop chip sets for Intel
processors based on the "Nehalem" architecture. The dispute centers
around a 2004 agreement that allowed Nvidia to make compatible chips
sets for Intel processors. Intel officials said the agreement didn't
cover Nehalem or future microarchitectures.