Intel settles antitrust case with FTC

computer chipIn a “I-never-did-it-and-won’t-do-it-again” deal, Computer chip-making giant Intel agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to step back from business practices — like coercing computer makers not to buy microprosessor chips from rivals — which allegedly stifled competition and deprived consumers of better choices for at least a decade.  The “play nice” settlement comes on the heels of a $1.25 billion settlement last year with competitor AMD and as Intel continues to contest a $1.45 billion antitrust fine in Europe.  Law Professor Keith Hylton, an authority in antitrust law, says the incentives on both sides for a settlement were especially strong in this case.

“The FTC’s claims, which mirrored those of the European Comission, were not well founded in American law.  Intel, in spite of having a strong legal argument, had no interest in spending years in litigation against the FTC (along with the European Commission).  The obvious result of this mixture of incentives is a settlement.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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