updated 02:50 pm EDT, Tue September 11, 2007
Korean Intel Sanctions
South Korea may consider applying trade sanctions against Intel for anti-competitive behavior in the country, according to statements from the country's Fair Trade Commission. The regulatory body said today that it had completed its probe of Intel's practices in the region and was considering action to prevent the company from unfairly excluding its rivals from the local market. No mention was made of which actions might be taken, though many would likely be targeted at the exact accusations leveled against the semiconductor firm when the FTC began its work in June 2005. An official announcement regarding the penalty would be due by October at the latest, said one source.
Although particular evidence has not been disclosed, the FTC is believed to have found Intel pressuring Korean resellers to stop carrying AMD processors and systems, in addition to offering discounts on its own chips to companies that agreed to carry only Intel hardware. The allegations bear a strong similarity to those from a European Commission complaint which points to similar practices by the chipmaker in the Western continent. Japan's government issued a warning to Intel in March 2005.
Intel has so far denied the accusations in Europe and Korea, arguing in the former case that the complaint had been launched at AMD's request and couldn't be considered an objective interpretation of the facts. In Korea, Intel will have an opportunity to formally respond to any FTC findings and could dispute possible sanctions in court.