The settlement agreement stated that Intel does not admit either any violation of law or that the allegations in the complaint are true.
Chip maker Intel and New
York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have both agreed to end a lawsuit that
alleged Intel violated U.S. and state antitrust laws. The lawsuit was filed by
the attorney general's office in November 2009. The agreement includes a
payment of $6.5 million from Intel that is intended to cover some of the costs
incurred by the litigation, according to a copy of the settlement.
The lawsuit, filed in
November 2009, accused Intel of anti-competitive behavior, claiming that the
chip maker used its money and dominant position in the global processor market
to persuade computer makers, such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, to limit their
use of chips from Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. The lawsuit followed an
investigation that began in 2007 by the attorney general's office into the
conduct of Intel in the x86 microprocessor market.
The Feb. 9 agreement follows
a December 2011 court ruling that greatly reduced the scope of the lawsuit and
questioned the state's role in suing the chip giant on behalf of computer
buyers and saying the statute of limitations had run out on some of the
charges. The settlement agreement stated that Intel does not admit either any
violation of law or that the allegations in the complaint are true, and it
calls for no changes to the way Intel does business.
"Following recent court
rulings in Intel's favor that significantly and appropriately narrowed the
scope of this case, we were able to reach an agreement with New York to bring
to an end what remained of the case," said Doug Melamed, senior vice
president and general counsel at Intel. "We have always said that Intel's
business practices are lawful, pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers, and
we are pleased this matter has been resolved."
In filing the lawsuit,
prosecutors alleged that Intel obtained exclusive or near-exclusive agreements
from large computer makers "in exchange for payments totaling billions of
dollars, and threatening retaliation against any company that did not heed its
wishes." The attorney general's office further accused Intel of
"bribing or coercing OEMs either not to offer, or severely limit, AMD
The December ruling also
dismissed claims that involved PC purchases before November 2006, saying that
while they would have been allowed under New York's statute of limitations, it
is the three-year statute of limitations in Delaware that takes precedence. The
New York prosecutors filed the lawsuit at a time when Intel was hearing similar
accusations from federal and European regulators, as well as from AMD.
"While we were
disappointed by the rulings of the Delaware federal judge handling the matter,
it's important to note that our claims were dismissed on procedural, not
substantive grounds," Jennifer Givner, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman,
said in an emailed statement. "We continue to believe that those claims,
which were asserted under the previous administration, had merit, but in light
of the court's decision believe that no purpose is served by pursuing the
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.