Intel Settles Antitrust Claims for $1.25 Billion

     (CN) – Leading computer chip maker Intel agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle antitrust and patent disputes with a smaller competitor, Advanced Micro Devices.

     The settlement, announced today, puts an end to a pending lawsuit in Delaware Federal Court and two in Japan.
AMD had accused Intel of strong-arming computer makers into using Intel microprocessors instead of rivals’ chips. Intel controls about 80 percent of the market for microprocessors, the logic chips inside PCs and servers.
     In a joint statement, Intel and AMD said, “While the relationship between the two companies has been difficult in the past, this agreement ends the legal disputes and enables the companies to focus all of our efforts on product innovation and development.”
     AMD is not the only player to have challenged Intel’s tactics. The European Union in May fined Intel $1.45 billion, and Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined the company $18.6 million.
     Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed an antitrust suit in Delaware, claiming Intel paid billions of dollars in kickbacks and bullied rivals “to maintain its monopoly power and prices” in the microprocessor market.
     Intel “used threats and coercion, bribing and bullying to preserve its market dominance,” Cuomo said.
     Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Union’s competition commissioner, told The New York Times that the settlement would not affect Europe’s case.
     “The commission continues to vigorously monitor Intel’s compliance with its obligations under the E.U. antitrust decision,” he said.
     The Federal Trade Commission is also investigating Intel to see if its pricing policies were intended to monopolize the $225 billion microprocessor market.

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