updated 04:10 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2007
US avoiding Intel probe?
The Federal Trade Commission is deliberately avoiding a probe of US chip giant Intel, one Democrat politician charges. In August, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York teamed with Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (also D-NY) to ask for the FTC investigation, on the basis that Intel is said to be offering rebates to computer builders who refuse to buy rival AMD products. The FTC replied in September by saying it could not disclose any investigations, and on Monday a Schumer spokesman accused the FTC of "slow-walking" concerns, according to the Associated Press.
Schumer's motivations may be of concern, the AP notes. AMD in 2005 filed a lawsuit against Intel, charging the company with the same antitrust violations as Schumer. AMD has maintained the truth of its allegations since, and now spokesmen for both AMD and Schumer confirm that the company intends to build a $3 billion semiconductor factory in upstate New York. Intel meanwhile denies offering anti-competitive rebates or committing any other wrongdoing.
An investigation would only add to legal woes for Intel, which has been charged with deliberately sabotaging AMD sales by the European Commission, and accused of engaging in similar practices within South Korea. Neither case has come to fruition.