Intel could be close to deal with FTC

Intel may be close to a deal with the US Federal Trade Commission on the chipmakers antitrust case.

The FTC and Intel have been negotiating since last month to meet a self-imposed July 22 deadline to reach a settlement.

Reuters has mentioned that Intel and the FTC had reached a preliminary agreement that wouldn’t include a fine.

Under the deal Intel would be limited in is use of volume discounts for its central processing units, the main chips in personal computers, as well as chips that run graphics.

The reason there is no fine involved is because the FTC doesn’t have the power on its own to levy civil fines in antitrust cases.

The FTC accused Intel of illegally using its dominant market share to stifle competition for a decade.

The suit was filed after Intel was fined by the European Union in May 2009 and settled a civil case last November with AMD its closest competitor.

Intel wrote AMD a cheque for $1.25 billion. That followed a record EU fine of $1.45 billion at the time. 

Chuck Mulloy at Intel got in touch with us – the official line is: “The discussions with the Federal Trade Commission are ongoing.  Beyond that we have no comment on speculative reports concerning those discussions.”