WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Wednesday that it has reached settlement with Intel Corp., the world's leading computer chip maker, on charges that the company illegally used its dominant market position for a decade to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly.
|Intel (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)|
"Intel has agreed to provisions that will open the door to renewed competition and prevent Intel from suppressing competition in the future," the government agency with consumer protection and competition jurisdiction said in a statement.
The FTC sued Intel in December 2009 alleging that the company used anticompetitive tactics to cut off rivals' access to the marketplace and deprive consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise computers' central processing unit, or CPU. These chips are critical components that often are referred to as the "brains" of a computer. The action also challenged Intel's conduct in markets for graphics processing units and other chips.
"This case demonstrates that the FTC is willing to challenge anticompetitive conduct by even the most powerful companies in the fastest-moving industries," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
"By accepting this settlement, we open the door to competition today and address Intel's anticompetitive conduct in a way that may not have been available in a final judgment years from now," he added.
There was no fine under the settlement, but Intel has to make significant changes to the way it does business. The company will be prohibited from conditioning benefits to computer makers in exchange for their promise to buy chips from Intel exclusively or to refuse to buy chips from others, the FTC said.
In addition, the company can't retaliate against computer makers if they do business with non-Intel suppliers by withholding benefits from them.