It seems that Intel is not doing much to win any friends. Weeks after Nvidia said it would stop making chipsets for Intel’s new processors due to the latter’s unfair business tactics, the company now looks set to be in for a long legal battle in U.S. courts as the American Federal Trade Commission is rumoured to be moving toward filing a complaint for anti-competitive practices.
Three of the four commissioners – FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Commissioners Thomas Rosch and Pamela Jones Harbour – are in favour of filing the motion, which will happen after a vote. Sources told Reuters that this could be a matter of weeks or months.
Intel has had a sordid past when it comes to anti-trust cases, losing litigations across the world.
In 2005, Japan’s Trade Commission concluded Intel violated the country’s anti-monopoly act, according to BusinessDay.
In 2007, the EU fined Intel 1.06 billion euros for practices such as paying computer makers to postpone or cancel plans to launch products that used chips from rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD); providing illegal, secret rebates so computer makers would use mostly or entirely Intel chips; and paying a major retailer to stock only computers with its chips.
In June last year, South Korea fined Intel about $26 million, finding it offered rebates to PC makers in return for not buying AMD microprocessors.
Earlier this month, Nvidia said it would stop making chipsets for Intel’s new generation of CPUs, alleging that Intel has indulged in unfair business practices and even told customers that Nvidia isn’t licensed to the new DMI bus.
If the US govt. does file an anti-trust lawsuit against Intel, it would be terribly interesting to see what kind of details come out of it, wouldn’t it?