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South Korea concludes probe into Intel anti-competition allegations

[JURIST] The Korean Fair Trade Commission [official website, in English] has completed a two-year investigation into allegations that computer chip maker Intel pressured consumers into buying its products over those made by rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate websites], according to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy Tuesday. Mulloy said the company had received a "statement of objection," which is a set of preliminary antitrust charges, although no formal charges have yet been laid. The Commission's investigation follows on the heels of similar probes [JURIST report] by the European Commission and the Japan Fair Trade Commission [official websites], which similarly found that Intel pressured consumers into favoring its computer chips. Mulloy asserted Tuesday that Intel had merely engaged in "pro-competition," which was "ultimately beneficial to consumers." Intel could face fines in both Europe and Korea for engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

Last month, American Antitrust Institute [advocacy website] President Albert Foer wrote a letter [PDF text] to the US Federal Trade Commission [official website], urging the government to conduct its own investigation into Intel's behavior. The letter was a response to the European Commission filing formal charges [Business Wire report] in July against Intel for violating European Union competition laws by abusing its dominance power in the marketplace. In 2005, AMD filed anti-trust lawsuits [US complaint, PDF] against Intel in both the United States and Japan [JURIST reports]. Intel has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. AP has more.

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