Intel’s FTC Deal Prevents Price Dumping

Posted by at 10:33 am on August 4, 2010

Intel and the Federal Trade Commission today detailed the settlement (PDF) made to avoid a full penalty for Intel in its antitrust case. Under the new terms, Intel is barred from offering incentives to carry its chips exclusively or from retaliating if a PC builder uses chips from AMD or another rival. Also, Intel would be prevented from deliberately price dumping or threatening a lack of marketing or discounts.

The terms would also cater to NVIDIA by preventing Intel from engaging in unfair bundling through giving discounts on processor and chipset combinations so steep they lock out competition. NVIDIA believed Intel priced the combination of an Atom processor and an official Intel chipset low enough that it became impractical to use NVIDIA’s superior Ion graphics hardware for all but the most expensive netbooks.

Other  technical terms ban Intel from artificially hindering competitors through its compiling tools and other software; it would have to disclose any instance in which Intel chips are treated differently. The firm must also keep supporting the PCI Express bus standard for at least six years to avoid favoring its integrated video in the event of a format switch. Via’s licensing deal for x86 processors and chipsets must also extend five years later, to 2018.

The settlement doesn’t  deal with  the dispute between NVIDIA and Intel over chipset licensing, which NVIDIA  claims Intel  deliberately reinterpreted to prevent faster integrated graphics from undermining Intel’s own.

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