Intel and antitrust: A brief history
- — 17 December, 2009 07:03
April 8: The Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) raided the offices of Intel's Japanese subsidiary and several Japanese computer companies as part of an investigation into Intel's business practices.
March 8: JFTC ruled that Intel violated Japanese antitrust laws and hurt competition in the country's processor market.
March 31: Intel disputed the JFTC's findings, but did not contest them and agreed to refrain from certain business practices.
June 27: AMD filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit detailed allegations of anticompetitive behavior by Intel in the United States, Asia and Europe.
June 30: AMD sued Intel in the Tokyo High Court and the Tokyo District Court, seeking more than $50 million in damages arising from the chip maker's anticompetitive actions in Japan.
July 12: European Commission investigators raided the offices of Intel and PC manufacturers in several countries as part of an antitrust investigation.
Feb. 9: Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) officials raided Intel offices in South Korea.
July 17: AMD filed a complaint against Intel with Germany's Federal Cartel Office, claiming that a deal between Intel and retailer Media Markt blocked the sale of computers based on AMD processors at hundreds of retail outlets.
Sept. 11: European Commission antitrust officials announced plans to investigate the complaint filed in Germany by AMD against Intel and Media Markt.
July 27: The European Commission charged Intel with antitrust violations. It accused Intel of offering rebates to PC manufacturers that buy the majority of their processors from Intel, paying PC manufacturers to delay or cancel products based on AMD processors, and selling processors below cost when bidding against AMD for contracts with server makers.
Sept. 12: The KFTC issued preliminary antitrust charges against Intel while continuing its investigation into the company's business practices in South Korea.
Jan. 10: The New York State Attorney General launched an antitrust investigation of Intel. The chip maker was served with a subpoena seeking information on its pricing practices and "possible attempts to exclude competitors through market domination."
Feb. 12: European Commission investigators raided Intel's office in Munich. The offices of retailers Media Markt and DSG International were also raided by investigators.
June 6: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission served a subpoena to Intel, opening another antitrust investigation into the chip maker. Intel says it will work cooperatively with the FTC to provide information.
July 17: The European Commission leveled another set of antitrust charges against Intel, saying "that Intel has infringed rules on abuse of dominant position with the aim of excluding its main rival AMD from the x86 central processing units market."
May 13: The European Commission finds Intel guilty of antitrust violations in the PC microprocessor market and fines the company $1.44 billion, saying Intel's actions harmed millions of European consumers. The main antitrust abuses involved paying rebates to system manufacturers and to Europe's largest IT retailer, Media Markt, in order to shut out Intel's closest rival, AMD.
July 22: Intel appealed the $1.44 billion fine in a European court.
Nov. 4: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleging that company engaged in a "systematic campaign" of illegal conduct to protect a monopoly. Cuomo alleged that Intel extracted exclusive agreements from large computer makers and threatened to punish those perceived to be working too closely with Intel competitors.
Nov. 12: Intel and AMD settled all antitrust litigation and patent cross-license disputes the companies had with each other. Intel agreed to pay AMD $1.25 billion, while agreeing to a set of business practice provisions and a five-year cross-licensing agreement. AMD agreed to drop all regulatory complaints and pending legal disputes against Intel, but the settlement does not prevent other organizations from pursuing legal action against Intel.
Dec. 16: U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuit against Intel, alleging that Intel has waged a "systematic campaign" to cut off rivals' access to the marketplace and prevent adoption of superior products produced by competitors."Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly," Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. "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."