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US government sues Intel for antitrust violations

[JURIST] The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] on Wednesday sued [complaint, PDF; press release] computer microchip manufacturer Intel [corporate website] for antitrust violations. The complaint alleges that Intel used its dominant market position to stifle competition. According to the FTC, Intel engaged in threats and other unlawful tactics to coerce computer manufacturers not to purchase chips manufactured by its competitors. Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition Richard Feinstein said that:

Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The Commission's action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer.

Intel rejected [press release] the government's claims, responding that it "has competed fairly and lawfully." The FTC is not seeking monetary damages from Intel, but rather an order to prevent the company from engaging in similar activity in the future.

The suit follows a similar suit [JURIST report] filed last month by the New York Attorney General [official website], alleging that the microprocessor manufacturer engaged in illegal conduct to further its dominance in the marketplace. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo claims that many of these agreements were aimed at specifically disadvantaging Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate website], one of the company's strongest competitors. Also last month, Intel agreed to settle [JURIST report] all outstanding legal issues with AMD by paying paying its competitor $1.25 billion.

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