FTC Antitrust Action Against Intel
|See also, Summary of Intergraph Corporation v. Intel Corporation, pending in the U.S. District Court, Alabama.|
In the Matter of Intel Corporation, FTC Docket No. 9288.
Nature of the Case. Administrative antitrust action brought by the FTC against Intel alleging illegal monopolistic behavior in refusing to deal with three customers in order to coerce them into surrendering certain intellectual property rights.
Prosecuting Agency. Federal Trade Commission, 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20580. Attorney, William Baer, Bureau of Competition.
Respondent. Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA, 95952. Lead attorney: Robert E. Cooper, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Summary: This is an administrative antitrust action alleging that Intelís conduct constitutes unlawful monopolization, unlawful attempts to monopolize, and unfair methods of competition, all in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC decided to prosecute by a vote of 3 to 1, with Commissioner Orson Swindle dissenting. FTC Administrative Law Judge James Timony is presiding.
The FTC Complaint alleges that Intel is a monopoly that illegally refused to deal with computer makers Compaq, Intergraph, and DEC in order to coerce them into surrendering certain intellectual property rights. The FTC seeks a "cease and desist" order.
The Intel Answer asserts that "Intel has not monopolized any market, attempted to monopolize any market, or used any unfair methods of competition. Intel has not violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act or any other antitrust law. This is not an appropriate matter for action by the FTC. The allegations in this matter arise out of intellectual property disputes between Intel and three other major high technology companies. Two of those disputes have been settled on mutually agreeable terms among the parties. The third dispute is currently in litigation in Alabama. In each of these cases, Intel took reasonable, measured steps under the law and its contracts to protect its intellectual property and its core business. In none of these cases did Intel deny anyone a supply of microprocessors or any other product. Intelís actions did not and could not harm competition in any relevant market."
The FTC and Intel reach a proposed settlement on March 8, 1999, the day before the case was set for an administrative hearing.
On September 26, 2000, Intel announced that the FTC closed its investigation of Intel. Richard Parker, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition sent a letter to Intel which stated: "Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, pursuant to authority delegated by the Commission, the investigation has been closed."
Chronology with Links to Pleadings and other Documents.
See also, FTC Index of Orders (with links to PDF copies of FTC Orders in this proceeding.)
Tech Law Journal Stories.